OKLAHOMA CITY, Sporting Alert – The Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony new Big Three era began on a winning note after the Oklahoma City Thunder routed New York Knicks 105-84 in their season opener Thursday night.
George hit six of the Thunder 11 total 3-pointers to finish with 28 points and six rebounds in his debut, while Anthony had 22 points, two steals and two blocked shots in his first game for Oklahoma City.
He was happy to close the Knicks chapter.
“Yeah, that chapter’s closed,” Anthony said. “That chapter’s closed. No more Knicks talk,” Anthony said.
“We can just focus on the Thunder and moving forward and what we have to do as a team and organization. I can say that chapter’s closed.”
Reigning league MVP Westbrook started the season with a triple-double after the energetic point guard posted 21 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who lead the Knicks 53-42 at halftime.
“There’s nobody that can stay in front of Russ,” George said after the game. “He’s always going to attract two [defenders], he’s always going to have the defense collapsing.
“A lot of times I’m going to be catching it wide open and more times than not I’ve got to make them pay for it.”
Westbrook added: “We’re just getting started. We’re trying to figure it out and I’m just going to constantly keep pushing and finding those guys and obviously that makes it easy for me with those guys on the floor.”
Steven Adams finished with 12 points, five rebounds, five steals and blocked three shots in the win for OKC.
Kristaps Porzingis, who was bothered by a hip injury during the week, recovered to scored a game-high 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead New York.
Ense Kanter ended with 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals in the defeat for the Knicks, which shot 7 of 24 from 3-point range.
The Thunder took 90 shots and made 39.
Anthony believes that percentage will improve as they continue to play together.
“Offensively it’s on us to make those shots. I think for myself, if I can speak for PG, we’ve got to get used to those shots,” Anthony said.
“We’re not used to having open looks like that, being wide open for shots like that. We’ve got to get comfortable with that and those shots. Those shots will fall.”