McGrady scores 26 points in Knicks debut, but Durant has 36 in Thunder’s 8th straight win

By Brian Mahoney, AP
Saturday, February 20, 2010

Durant, Thunder spoil McGrady’s Knicks debut

NEW YORK — Tracy McGrady’s dazzling Knicks debut couldn’t stop the surging Oklahoma City Thunder, who got 36 points from Kevin Durant and beat New York 121-118 in overtime Saturday night for their eighth straight victory.

Durant made the go-ahead jumper with 16 seconds left in his 27th consecutive game with at least 25 points, the longest streak since Allen Iverson also did it in 27 in a row from Jan. 12-March 9, 2001. The last longer streak was by Michael Jordan in 40 straight in the 1986-87 season.

McGrady scored 26 points in his first game since the Knicks acquired him Thursday at the trade deadline. But he was on the bench for almost all of overtime, perhaps exhausted after playing 32 minutes in his first action since December.

Russell Westbrook finished with 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in the longest winning streak for the Thunder franchise since a nine-game run early in the 2004-05 season. Jeff Green had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

David Lee had 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who blew a six-point lead late in regulation and lost their sixth straight. Eddie House, also acquired at the trade deadline, scored a season-high 22 points.

McGrady had his first 25-point game since Jan. 9, 2009, when he had 26 for Houston at Oklahoma City, about a month before season-ending microfracture surgery. But his chance for a winning return to action was wrecked by Durant, the sensational swingman who was often compared to McGrady when he came into the NBA three years ago.

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