The Kevin Durant-Carmelo Anthony duel was postponed, though J.R. Smith filled in nicely -- for three quarters.
The Oklahoma City Thunder finally silenced the Knicks' streaky shooter in the fourth quarter, hanging on to beat host New York 95-94 on Thursday when Smith missed a turnaround 17-foot jumper just before the buzzer.
"We've been hurt on those game-winners a couple of times this year, and we didn't want that to happen again," Durant said. "So we just had to lock in and get a stop."
Durant scored 34 points, including two free throws with 1:38 left that put Oklahoma City in front for good. He also had eight rebounds and six assists.
Russell Westbrook struggled over the final three quarters but finished with 21 points, six rebounds and five assists, plus provided tough defense on Smith's last shot.
Oklahoma City fought off a Knicks team that was missing Anthony. The All-Star forward missed his second straight game with what the Knicks said is a stiff and sore right knee. Coach Mike Woodson said Anthony is day to day.
"It was a great fight. I mean we put up a heck of a fight out there," Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire said.
Smith scored a season-high 36 points but was just 2 of 9 from the field in the final period. Smith said he probably should have tried to drive on the last possession.
"My jumper was pretty much good all night except for the fourth quarter and just didn't go in," he said.
Neither team led by more than two points over the final 10½ minutes. Durant scored 12 in the final period while Westbrook was shut out.
Suns: Center Marcin Gortat probably is out for the rest of the season after spraining his right foot during Wednesday's loss to Toronto. An MRI revealed a midfoot sprain. Gortat will be sidelined three to four weeks, much of that time in a cast.
Hornets: Rookie guard Austin Rivers suffered a broken bone in his right hand during a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday and will be sidelined four to six weeks.
Bobcats: Guard Ramon Sessions will miss two to four weeks with a ligament sprain in his left knee.