OAKLAND, Calif. -- Carmelo Anthony returned Monday night and the Knicks held Stephen Curry under 30 points. But instead of turning that formula into a win, the Knicks suffered one of their worst defeats of the season.
Playing for the first time since leaving the previous Monday's game with a sore/stiff right knee, Anthony looked like someone who had missed the last three games. And the Knicks looked like a team that hadn't played in a while, getting trounced by the Golden State Warriors, 92-63, at Oracle Arena.
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Anthony shot 4-for-15 and had 14 points and 10 rebounds in 33:34. Afterward, he said the knee bothered him throughout the game. "It was just nagging, just agitating at this point," he said. "The stiffness is still back there. It's just a matter of time and seeing what happens over time."
Meanwhile, the Knicks agitated coach Mike Woodson with their lackluster play. They scored a season-low and made an NBA-season-low 27.4 percent of their shots (20-for-73). The Knicks (38-23) made only 12 baskets and scored 40 points in the last three quarters and had just 28 points after halftime (nine in the fourth quarter). They were down 27 in the third quarter.
Woodson brought Anthony back in the fourth quarter hoping they could make a run, but they never got it under 17. "He looked a little sluggish,'' Woodson said. "We have enough bodies and players on this team who can make plays. We played one quarter. After the first quarter, we had nothing in the tank.''
Anthony said he plans to play Wednesday night when this five-game trip continues in Denver, where he will return for the first time since forcing a trade to the Knicks in February 2011.
"I'll see it how it feels [Tuesday], see how it feels Wednesday," Anthony said. "As of right now, I plan to be out there."
J.R. Smith should have some extra bounce in his Denver return. He was ejected in the third quarter Monday night after committing a flagrant foul 2 on Harrison Barnes. Smith thought it was a hard foul that didn't warrant an ejection. "I got a target on my back. I accept it," he said.
Chris Copeland scored 15 points in 18:51 for the Knicks, who shot 5-for-27 from three-point range. "This is definitely not the way you want to start a road trip," Tyson Chandler said. "We have to focus on moving on to the next game."
Curry, who scored 54 points at the Garden nearly two weeks ago, had 26 points and shot 6-for-10 from three-point range. Klay Thompson added 23 points. Former Knick David Lee, who missed the previous game against the Knicks because of an NBA suspension, had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Anthony said the plan all along was to return for the start of this trip. He hopes a week of rest and treatment was the right remedy for his injured right knee. An MRI revealed there is fluid buildup in the back of the knee, but he has ruled out having the fluid drained and says he won't require offseason surgery to fix the problem.
"No, not at all," he said. "It's nothing of that nature. It's just a matter of the knee getting tight behind. It's nothing in the front of the knee, no pain, no soreness, just some irritation. That's it."
But there still is concern about his health because he revealed that it's been an issue for close to a month now and it remains unclear what the problem is.
"Nobody can really give me an exact answer on it," he said. "There's no pain, no ligament damage or anything like that. There's just some fluid in the back of the knee that's preventing me from hyperextending my knee sometimes." He added, referring to this season: "I don't think I'll ever be 100 percent."
Curry got off to a fast start, scoring 11 of the Warriors' first 18 points. The Warriors led by as many as nine in the first quarter, but the Knicks drew within one early in the second quarter.
But the Knicks couldn't score and couldn't stop the Warriors from scoring as the second quarter continued. In the final 10:47, the Knicks shot 3-for-19 and were outscored 24-10. The Warriors led 50-35 at halftime behind 17 points from Curry and 13 each from Lee and Thompson.