The Golden State Warriors are well aware that even the lowliest opponents are salivating at the chance to knock them off, and they got another reminder in the opener to a three-game trip.
After Harrison Barnes bailed them out, the Warriors will try for a better performance Sunday night against the New York Knicks.
Golden State (43-4) blew a 24-point lead in the second half Saturday against league-worst Philadelphia and looked like it might head to overtime until Barnes hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 0.2 seconds left in a 108-105 victory.
“We know every night we play is going to be the other team's best game most likely,” guard Stephen Curry said. “We're disappointed in how we played but we got a win. There are going to be a lot of different situations to go through to keep winning.”
The Warriors committed 23 turnovers – their most since Nov. 27 and tied for their second-most this season – but had 37 assists. They've had at least 30 assists in six consecutive games, the first team to pull off that feat since Golden State had a run of seven straight in April 1994.
“We kept our composure. We've got to learn a lesson to keep playing for 48 minutes. We only played 24 tonight,” Curry said.
With Barnes' shot, the Warriors matched the 1966-67 76ers' league-best start after 47 games. That Philadelphia team won 46 of its first 50.
Golden State also remains ahead of pace on the Chicago Bulls' 72-win team in 1995-96. They were 43-5 after 48 games.
To stay ahead, the Warriors will try to improve to 11-1 in the second half of back-to-back contests. Their only loss was their first defeat this season Dec. 12 in Milwaukee, and only San Antonio's 8-0 mark is better.
The last time it visited New York, Golden State was facing a team that finished 10-31 at home. The Knicks (23-26) have already surpassed last season's win total by going 14-10 and snapped a four-game overall slide by beating Phoenix 102-84 at Madison Square Garden on Friday.
Carmelo Anthony had team highs of 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his return from a two-game absence due to a sore knee.
Anthony sat out each of the two matchups with the Warriors last season. He was rested for a 106-92 defeat at the Garden on Feb. 7 and had suffered a season-ending knee injury before a 125-94 road loss March 14.
Golden State has won in four of its last five visits to New York, and Curry scored a career-best 54 points in the 2013 defeat. He had a more pedestrian 22 in the latest visit and 25 points and 11 assists in nearly 27 minutes in the most recent matchup.
Klay Thompson had a team-leading 27 points in 25-plus minutes in that home victory, and has a combined 77 points in his last two games. He had a season-high 45 in a 127-107 win over Dallas on Wednesday.
“They're a championship team, they really are,” said Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, who had seven points and seven rebounds in his return Friday after missing his first game of the season Thursday with an upper respiratory illness. “They're playing at an amazing level right now so it definitely won't be an easy game for us, but it's an opportunity.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Festus Ezeli might return Sunday following a two-game absence due to an injured left knee. Andre Iguodala was rested for the first time this season Saturday.