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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 21, 2010

McGrady's Knicks debut spoiled in loss


Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Newly acquired New York Knick Tracy McGrady drives past Oklahoma City Thunder's Serge Ibaka, left, and teammate James Harden, right, during the first half in New York. The Thunder's Kevin Durant scored 36 points and hit the go-ahead basket with 16 seconds left in overtime for the 121-118 win. McGrady scored 26 points in his Knicks debut.

FRANK FRANKLIN II | Associated Press

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NEW YORK Tracy McGrady's dazzling debut was just about everything the New York Knicks could have hoped for.

It just wasn't enough to stop Kevin Durant and the surging Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant scored 36 points and made the go-ahead jumper with 16 seconds left in overtime, and the Thunder beat New York, 121-118, last night for their eighth straight victory.

"We knew there was going to be a lot of energy in the building with Tracy McGrady coming in," Durant said. "He played phenomenal. He's back. He played well, but I'll take the win."

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.

"He kind of ran out gas towards the end," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Not having played all year, a couple of years almost, 26 points, kind of not bad."

Durant also hit the tying 3-pointer with 6 seconds left in regulation of his 27th consecutive game with at least 25 points.

Russell Westbrook finished with 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the Thunder. Jeff Green had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

"Everybody lives for nights like this," Westbrook said.

David Lee had 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who blew a six-point lead late in regulation. Eddie House, also acquired at the trade deadline, scored a season-high 24 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. He hoped to play 25-30 minutes and said he surpassed his own expectations.

"I didn't expect to play the way I did," McGrady said. "I expected to move the way I was out there, but as far as being efficient offensively, playing that many minutes, no."

The Knicks acquired McGrady on Thursday in a three-team deal with Houston and Sacramento. House came in a trade that sent popular backup Nate Robinson to Boston.

RAPTORS 109, WIZARDS 104

Jarrett Jack had 23 points and eight assists, Antoine Wright scored a season-high 19 points and host Toronto beat Washington, the Raptors' ninth victory in 10 home games.

Andrea Bargnani added 18 points and Hedo Turkoglu 16 for Toronto, which topped 100 points for the 20th straight game and won its second straight with All-Star Chris Bosh (sprained left ankle) watching from the bench.

BULLS 122, 76ERS 90

Rookie Taj Gibson tied a career high with 20 points and had 13 rebounds, and host Chicago beat Philadelphia for its fourth straight win.

Derrick Rose scored 17 points to help the Bulls set a season high for points. So did Kirk Hinrich, who also buried three 3-pointers to give him 773 in his career and break a tie with Ben Gordon for the club record.

BUCKS 93, BOBCATS 88

Brandon Jennings and John Salmons each scored 19 points to help host Milwaukee beat Charlotte.

Andrew Bogut added 18 points and 13 rebounds in the Bucks' fifth win in their last seven games.

PACERS 125, ROCKETS 115

Danny Granger scored 36 points, T.J. Ford led a second-half surge and Indiana snapped a four-game losing streak by beating host Houston.

The Rockets, playing their first game with four new players from a three-team trade, led most of the game but the Pacers rallied from nine points down to start the third quarter, led by Ford, who scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half.

MAVERICKS 97, HEAT 91

Jason Kidd scored 14 of his 21 points in fourth quarter, Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points and host Dallas held off Miami.

All-Star game MVP Dwyane Wade of Miami missed his second game in a row with a strained left calf.

CLIPPERS 99, KINGS 89

Eric Gordon scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, Chris Kaman had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and host Los Angeles beat Sacramento to give Kim Hughes his first official win as an NBA head coach.

The Clippers had lost their first five games after general manager Mike Dunleavy gave up his dual role as coach to Hughes, his longtime assistant.

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