Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives around New...

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives around New York Knicks guard Jose Calderon, right, in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. Credit: AP / Sue Ogrocki

The Knicks appeared to be heading toward an easy win Friday night. They were hot from three-point range, played strong defense and led by 16 in the fourth quarter. And Oklahoma City didn't have the services of Kevin Durant.

But the Knicks had to sweat it out at the end after some critical misses and turnovers and failure to secure defensive rebounds down the stretch.

The Thunder had two shots to tie the score in the closing seconds, but like so many of Oklahoma City's three-point tries on this night, they didn't drop. The Knicks escaped with a hard-fought 93-90 victory at Chesapeake Arena when Dion Waiters' last-second try went in and out.

It was the third victory in a row for the Knicks (7-6). It's the latest they've been above .500 since 2012-13.

"I know we won," Carmelo Anthony said. "Maybe because we already had a comfortable lead going into the stretch of the game, but we have to get better at just being comfortable in those situations, relaxed, and when teams make a run, not getting too tense out there, not getting too stressful and just running our offense."

Anthony had 25 points and five rebounds. Arron Afflalo added 14 points and Lance Thomas had 12 off the bench for the Knicks, who play in Houston on Saturday night.

The Knicks came very close to a total meltdown. They were up 11 with 3:13 left and led 89-81 with less than 90 seconds to go, but mistakes and the play of Russell Westbrook kept the pressure on. Westbrook shot only 11-for-29 but had 34 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.

In the fourth quarter, the Knicks gave up six offensive rebounds and 10 second-chance points, turned it over seven times and saw Anthony miss two free throws with 33.1 seconds left. Robin Lopez committed three of those turnovers in the final 1:10 and set up a wild end-of-game sequence when he threw away the inbounds pass with 11.8 seconds left.

"It looked like we didn't want to win," Jose Calderon said. "It wasn't like that. We were trying. We were trying."

Westbrook, who drilled an off-balance three-pointer on the previous trip, rose up for a potential tying three-pointer. His shot missed badly, but the Thunder tracked down the rebound. This time Waiters attempted a three-pointer and the Knicks were fortunate that it popped out.

"We made it a little more stressful for ourselves at the end," Kristaps Porzingis said.

The Knicks shot 12-for-20 from outside the arc. The Thunder was 3-for-29, including 2-for-10 by Westbrook.

With Durant sidelined a fifth straight game with a strained hamstring, the Knicks threw multiple defenders at Westbrook, packed the paint and tried to cut off his drives. They did a good job of that, but he also missed open shots he usually makes.

"I felt pretty good about the job we did as a team against him," said Calderon, who had 10 points and seven assists. "I think he was a little frustrated for a little period of time . . . The percentage was bad, and that's what we were looking for."

"We have to learn that there are more options than hoping Carmelo can save us," Derek Fisher said. "I think we got stagnant there once we got the lead. It's almost as though we start to slow the pace down and start trying to walk up the floor and be deliberate and don't get any easy points in fourth quarters. We still have to have the confidence that we can run and play with pace and get the easy baskets."