Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson of the Knicks look on during...

Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson of the Knicks look on during the first quarter against Golden State at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Before the game even tipped off, the Knicks got good news with Jalen Brunson cleared to play, Isaiah Hartenstein back after missing the last game and the team providing a positive update on OG Anunoby.

But once the ball went up for the opening tap Thursday night, everything went haywire. The Knicks nearly were run off the court, and the game was over nearly as soon as it started.

Fighting an uphill battle all night, the Knicks got as close as four points midway through the fourth quarter before falling apart again and dropping a 110-99 decision to Golden State at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks — who fell behind 14-0 and 20-4 — took their seventh loss in the last nine games.

They have attempted to tread water while fighting through a crippling series of injuries that have threatened to undo all the good they did before that. They’re still clinging to the Eastern Conference’s fourth seed at 35-25, but it feels as if they’re a long way from the team that was the hottest in the NBA a month ago.

“I’m not sure what you all expect or what you all think,” Josh Hart said. “We are playing as best as we can with the bodies that we have. We have guys like OG, [Julius Randle], Mitch [Robinson], been out for a long time. You have JB, Isaiah out of the lineup.

“ . . . We’re playing our [butts] off. It’s not like we’re just sitting there and crying about injuries and laying down. Nah, we’re grinding. We’re pushing ourselves. And once we get guys back, we’re good.

“I didn’t see anybody talking about the way we were playing before that — nine in a row, 10 in a row, 15 out of [17]. Take four starters, six rotation guys out of any lineup in the league, they’re going to struggle. I don’t care if they’re Boston with the best record or Detroit or Washington with the worst record. If you take that many guys out at the same time, you’re going to struggle. That’s the reality of it.”

The Madison Square Garden lower bowl was nearly filled an hour before game time, with kids and adults with their cameras out watching Steph Curry warm up and then begging for autographs.

Asked before the game who would defend Curry, coach Tom Thibodeau said, “Our team will try.”

Curry started the game with a three-pointer and finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds. Brunson had 27 points and Hart had 14 points and 18 rebounds. But the Knicks had early shooting woes and never got on track.

They misfired on their first nine field-goal attempts and turned the ball over twice. With 6:34 left in the first quarter, they finally got on the board as Donte DiVincenzo hit a layup to make it 14-2. Brunson followed with a short jumper, but the Knicks missed their next four shots and were down 20-4 before they finally began to fight their way back into the game.

“We played like [expletive],” Hart said. “That was it. We didn’t get stops. We’re a team that we get stops, we play fast. We get buckets for each other. We gave up too many fast-break points in that first quarter. So learning experience. Now we’ve got to just focus on Cleveland, learn from it.”

“They were making shots,” Brunson said. “They just had a little bit more energy than us the first six to eight minutes. From that point on, we started to play a little bit better. But just not a good start on our part.”

Fight was about all the Knicks had — although much of their fury was aimed at the officials in the first half.

Brunson tried three times to take a charge and didn’t get the call on any. DiVincenzo was hit in the face by Jonathan Kuminga and didn’t get a call. DiVincenzo then was clubbed in the head by Draymond Green with no call as the Knicks guard fell to the floor with blood coming out of his nose.

The officials could not be blamed, though, for the Knicks’ 33% shooting and inability to get stops in the first half as they fell behind 55-46.

They got within 89-85 after

Alec Burks scored inside and Jericho Sims hit two free throws with 6:35 left. But Golden State brought in its starters and quickly ran off five straight points.

Miles McBride, who finished with 14 points off the bench, drained a three to cut it to 97-90, but Curry answered right away with a corner three.

“They hit us hard,” Thibodeau said. “ . . . We had to fight out of a big hole, which we ended up doing, but the first five or six minutes obviously weren’t our best. But after that, I thought we did a pretty good job.”

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