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Knicks win third straight home game



NEW YORK – Fresh off signing a contract that will keep him with the New York Knicks for the remainder of the season, Langston Galloway provided a spark with 18 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals in New York’s 100-92 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

The Knicks (9-37) have won three straight at Madison Square Garden for the first time this season and have claimed four of their last five games overall.

The Thunder played their second straight game without forward Kevin Durant, who was out with a sprained big toe. Russell Westbrook poured in 40 points for Oklahoma City (23-23). The sixth-year guard was 13 of 29 from the floor and 12 of 12 from the line.

Forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 31 points and 10 rebounds, and forward Lance Thomas added 17 points and five rebounds. Thomas is playing on his second 10-day contract of the month.

“My approach is not going to change,” said Thomas. “I am going to continue to be a professional, put in my work and do everything in my power to help us win games.”

Galloway, a 6-foot-2 guard, was signed for the remainder of the season Tuesday after playing on two 10-day contracts. The undrafted rookie from St. Joseph’s has averaged 15.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while starting the last five games. He was the Knicks first-ever call-up from the D-League.

“He (Galloway) is not fearful of any moment when he’s out there,” said Knicks coach Derek Fisher. “He trusts himself and he plays with a confident toughness that has been really good for our group.

“Those are the kind of guys we want to have to build this thing out.”

In just three weeks with the team, Galloway has impressed Anthony.

“Langston can play,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of people know about him, He is great at getting in the paint and scoring the basketball.”

Forward Lou Amundson, who is also playing on his second 10-day contract for the Knicks, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked four shots — both season highs for him.

The Thunder got to within 82-80 with 5:03 remaining, but the Knicks sealed the win with a 10-0 run to move ahead 92-80. Anthony scored four points in the burst and guard Tim Hardaway Jr. drilled a 3-pointer.

Hardaway Jr. scored all of his 14 points in the second half.

“The second half he (Hardaway) had tonight won the game for us,” said Fisher. “He’s growing up before us and I’m happy for him.”

New York scored eight straight points to grab an 82-73 lead with 6:03 to play. Hardaway Jr. fueled the run with two 3-pointers. But the Thunder stormed back on the strength of seven straight points from Westbrook in 43 seconds, cutting the Knicks lead to 82-80.

“I thought they outworked us throughout the game and that enabled them to have a hot fourth quarter,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “We have to do a better job at playing the entire game and player possession.

“Tonight wasn’t the way we built our team. Give (the Knicks) credit, they outworked us.”

Westbrook and Anthony put on a shooting display in the third quarter. The duo scored 11 points each in the period, but it was Hardaway Jr.’s 3-point pull-up jumper with nine seconds left that gave the Knicks a narrow 68-67 edge going into the fourth.

The Knicks’ 20-19 first quarter lead was erased by a 13-4 Thunder run to open the second, providing them with a 32-24 advantage. Guard Reggie Jackson contributed three steals, six points and a rebound in the burst.

NOTES: Knicks F Jason Smith posted 11 points and grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. … Thunder F Serge Ibaka scored 10 points and recorded 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double this season. … Knicks C Amar’e Stoudemire missed his 14th game of the season with a sprained left ankle, and F Travis Wear was sidelined with a strained left hip. … The Knicks had been off for three days after Monday’s home game against Sacramento was postponed due to a snow storm. The game has been rescheduled for March 3. … Knicks F Carmelo Anthony is averaging 29.5 points against the Thunder since 2005-06, his highest mark against any team during that span. … Thunder G Russell Westbrook is averaging 24 points in 11 games against New York, the most against any opponent for him. … Oklahoma City C Steven Adams was selected for the second consecutive season to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge to be held on Friday, Feb. 13, at Barclays Center as part of All-Star weekend.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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