Knicks starters pummeled by Warriors’ first team
OAKLAND, Calif. — As the shot clock was winding down, the Warriors knew who to give the ball to and Stephen Curry delivered as only he can.
The reigning MVP, who is a lock to win the award again, banked in an off-balance three-pointer from the right wing as the buzzer sounded. Curry wasn’t done though. On the next possession, he drifted into the corner and drained another three with no Knick near him.
Curry doesn’t need a lot of space, but the Knicks put up little resistance anyway. Curry was 8-for-13 from three-point range and scored 34 points in 28 minutes to lead the Warriors to an easy 121-85 victory over the Knicks Wednesday night at Oracle Arena. It was Golden State’s NBA-record 50th consecutive home win.
“The things that he’s been doing is obscene, it’s unbelievable,” Kristaps Porzingis said. “What can you do there? You can’t do anything really. If he can make those shots then he can kill any team basically.”
The Knicks were outscored 35-18 in an embarrassing third quarter against the NBA champions. Three times in the third, interim coach Kurt Rambis called timeout after the Knicks didn’t hustle back to stop a Warriors’ basket in transition. The Knicks are now 28-41 overall and 5-10 under Rambis
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 18 points. No other starter scored more than four points. The Warriors’ starters held a 77-28 advantage over the Knicks’ first team.
“I just felt like at times we didn’t even try to compete out there,” Anthony said.
Anthony said he addressed the team at halftime and in huddles “trying to light a fire underneath them.” But it didn’t make much of a difference.
“They tried to pick it up, but by that time we were down 30,” Anthony said.
Porzingis, back after missing the prior game with a stomach virus, looked winded and out of sorts. He shot 1-for-11 and scored two points. He said he felt it from the very beginning but wanted to keep playing. Jose Calderon left the game in the third quarter with a sore right calf. The team said X-rays were negative.
Klay Thompson added 19 for the Warriors, and Draymond Green finished with six points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Many have tried to stop or slow Curry and the Warriors this season. Few have succeeded, and none at home.
The Warriors are 32-0 at home and improved to 61-6 overall. They’re shooting for the NBA’s all-time best record of 72-10 set by the 1995-96 Bulls, and would need to go 12-3 to break the mark.
“It’s very impressive to see the way that they’re playing,” Anthony said. “We’re witnessing history here. It’s hard to give them a pat on the back when you got your [butt] whipped.”
Before the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was talking about how this season has been more difficult than last year for the Warriors. They’re the champs and most teams try to play their best game against them.
“It feels a little more tiresome,” Kerr said. “I think guys after the long year last year, doing it again this year, people coming after you every single night it wears you down. But what a great position to be in. We hope we’re in this position next year, too.”
The Warriors didn’t seem worn down Wednesday night. The Knicks did. The Warriors can demoralize teams with their ball movement and shot-making ability. There were times it appeared they were toying with the Knicks.
After missing their first six shots, the Warriors made 12 of their next 17 and held a 31-19 lead after one. At one point, Curry was outscoring the Knicks 16-15.
The Warriors extended the lead to 20 in the second quarter and never really threatened. The Knicks cut it to 12 in the second, but then got off to an awful start to the third and the game got out of reach.
The Knicks were outscored 14-2 to open the third and 10-0 to close it, with Curry connecting on back-to-back threes that gave Golden State a 97-64 lead.
“I feel like we’re a better team,” Rambis said. “I think our guys are better than what we showed.
“We didn’t come in with the right mindset thinking that we could really win this ballgame. We didn’t play with the sort of energy, intensity and enthusiasm. I don’t feel like our guys were ready to meet that challenge.”