A tenth of a point is all that separates New York Knick Carmelo Anthony and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.
Seeking his fourth straight scoring title, Durant leads the league at 28.4 points per game, and Anthony is just behind him at 28.3. The 28-year-old Anthony has never won a scoring title, but he has put together a three-game slew of 43.7 points on 64.2-percent shooting to inch closer to Durant.
Now the two square-off Sunday afternoon at Chesapeake Energy Arena, as the Knicks put their 11-game winning streak on the line.
Oklahoma City is on the verge of passing the injured San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference, and New York’s recent streak has created a two-game cushion for the No. 2 spot in the East. The Knicks are also two wins away from clinching the Atlantic Division title.
The Thunder recently helped Knicks by holding off the Indiana Pacers on Friday, 97-95. Durant poured in 34 points and collected nine rebounds, and point guard Russell Westbrook tallied 24 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists, while Oklahoma City crashed the boards for a 53-31 advantage over Indiana.
The Knicks face their strongest test during their streak, other than wins over a Miami Heat squead that was without LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, as well as the Memphis Grizzlies. During the streak, the Knicks have held opponents under 90 points six times, and are giving up 89.7 points a contest overall.
Keeping that production up may prove difficult with forward Kenyon Martin listed as doubtful with a knee injury, and center Marcus Camby also doubtful.
Coverage of the game begins at 1 p.m. Eastern time, and will be broadcast by ABC.
Betting Odds: Oklahoma City is favored by 8 points
Over/Under: 199 points
Prediction: Anthony and Durant will trade punches throughout the game, leaving Westbrook and Knicks point guard Raymond Felton to be the next key matchup. With New York down two reserves in their frontcourt, rebounding will be a major issue. OKC should walk away victorious, but Anthony will gain the edge in the scoring race.
Predicted Score: Oklahoma City 98, New York 92