NBA wrap: Thunder cruise to win over Rockets; Carmelo Anthony struggles in return to OKC

Carmelo Anthony must have been hoping for a better return to Oklahoma City.

The 34-year-old forward missed 10 of his 11 shots and tallied just two points off the bench in the Rockets’ 98-80 road loss to the Thunder on Thursday. Anthony was a minus-22 in the game.

The Thunder, playing without star Russell Westbrook, who is dealing with a sprained ankle, headed into halftime with a 14-point lead. They pushed their advantage to 20 by the end of the third quarter and cruised to the victory.

Six players reached double-figures for Oklahoma City in the win, led by 20 from forward Paul George. James Harden tallied 19 points and eight rebounds for Houston in the losing effort.

Anthony spent last season with the Thunder before he was traded to the Hawks in mid-July in exchange for a package centered around Dennis Schroder. He was bought out by Atlanta and then signed with the Rockets.

Studs of the night

Clint Capela scored 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds in the Rockets’ loss to the Thunder.

Kyrie Irving tallied 39 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out six assists in the Celtics’ 116-109 come-from-behind overtime win over the Suns. 

Duds of the night

Besides Anthony, Chris Paul also struggled in the Rockets loss. He connected on four of his 11 shots and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. 

Isaiah Canaan shot 3-of-14 from the field and was a minus-9 in the Suns loss to the Celtics. 


Bucks center John Henson with a big block of Kevin Durant.

CJ McCollum takes it the length of the floor for a dunk.

What’s next

Hornets (6-5) at 76ers (7-5) 7 p.m. ET – The Hornets will look to continue their surprising start to the season when they face the 76ers in Philadelphia on Friday. The 76ers have been mediocre so far, but are one of the most talented teams in the Eastern Conference.