Beasley bags 30 as Knicks spoil Anthony's Garden party


New York (AFP)

Michael Beasley had the hot hand as the New York Knicks used a balanced scoring attack to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-96, spoiling the return of Carmelo Anthony to Madison Square Garden.

Beasley shot 11-of-18 from the field to tally 30 points as six players scored in double figures for the Knicks, who improved to 16-13 on the season.

Anthony struggled in his return, making just five field goals and finishing with 12 points including none in the second half.

Anthony, who was featured in a highlight video during the introductions, heard cheers from the crowd of 19,800 but also a smattering of boos.

This was Anthony's first trip back to the Garden as a member of the Thunder since being traded in September for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick.

Anthony helped lead New York to its first division title in 19 years in the 2012-2013 season and averaged nearly 25 points per game in his six-plus-year stint with the Knicks.

Anthony has scored over 25 points just once in his last 26 games with the Thunder.

There was plenty of interest in this matchup and not just because of Anthony's involvement. This was a battle between two hot NBA teams as the Knicks had won four of their last five and the Thunder had won six of their last eight.

Courtney Lee had 20 points and McDermott added 13 off the bench to lead the Knicks, who were without leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis, sidelined by left knee soreness.

Russell Westbrook had 25 points to lead the Thunder, who were outscored 31-23 in the fourth quarter.

Paul George added 18 points for Oklahoma City, which shot just 42 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free-throw line.