NBA wrap: Knicks tops Thunder in Carmelo Anthony's return to New York

The Knicks honored Anthony with a tribute video, most fans greeted him with cheers, but the forward scored only 12 points in OKC's loss.

A majority of Knicks fans welcomed Anthony back with open arms.

Carmelo Anthony made his much-awaited return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, and no one knew quite what to expect.

The high-scoring forward who spent seven seasons in a Knicks uniform endured almost constant turmoil last year, and the team traded Anthony to the Thunder in the offseason.

In Melo's return to The Garden, there were some boos, but far more cheers, as he took the court. The Knicks honored its former All-Star with a minute-long tribute video showing not just his highlights as a player, but also his work in the community.

Read: Westbrook's triple-double powers Thunder past 76ers

Then just when you thought the situation couldn't get any more heartwarming, Anthony drained a 3 on the Thunder's first possession.

After that, it was down to business, and on this night, the Knicks had too much for the Thunder, winning 111-96. It's a big win considering the Knicks' signature star in the post-Anthony era, Kristaps Porzingis, sat out with a knee injury.

As fate would have it, the player the Knicks started at Anthony's old power forward position, Michael Beasley, had a huge night. Coming in averaging only 8.7 points per game, with four starts all year, Beasley put up a season-high 30 points. At the other end he helped limit Anthony, rejecting a layup by Melo at one point.

As for Anthony … well, this game didn't remind anyone of that 2014 contest where he dropped a Knicks-record 62 points against Charlotte. Anthony hit only five of 18 shots for 12 points. He had five rebounds and three turnovers.

Anthony called the pregame highlight video a "bittersweet" experience.

"Coming back here, knowing the goals that I had and what I wanted to accomplish here and falling short in that category," he said.

As noted earlier, there were some boos, but more Knicks fans welcomed Anthony back with open arms. Of course, it was easy to be in a charitable mood with the Knicks scoring a big win to go 16-13 on the year. OKC falls to 14-15.

Studs of the Night

The Rockets won its 13th straight game, defeating the tough Bucks, 115-111, thanks to the late heroics of Chris Paul. The guard scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half. In the process, he made history — the Elias Sports Bureau reports he's the first NBA player to win his first 14 games with a new team.

LeBron James scored 29 points and added 11 boards and 10 assists in the Cavs' 109-100 win against Utah, and while triple-doubles are not unusual for LeBron, this one was special. He now has 60 in his career, passing Larry Bird for sixth on the NBA's career list.

Dud of the Night

Hornets guard Kemba Walker missed all nine shots he took from behind the arc, and shot only 7 of 26 from the field for 14 points in a 93-91 loss to the Trail Blazers.

What's Next

Cavaliers (22-8) at Wizards (16-13) 6 p.m. ET — You could almost see this matchup happening at some point in the playoffs next spring. The Cavaliers has gone way past its rocky start to win four straight and 17 of 18 games. John Wall is back in the Wizards' lineup after missing nine games with a knee injury, but he's been off in his first two games back (11 of 31 from the field, 28 total points).

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