Stephen Curry gets triple-double as Warriors crush Knicks at MSG
NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Curry’s last Madison Square Garden performance was breathtaking, the most dazzling display of outside shooting ever at the famed arena.
It resulted in a loss, so Curry tried a different tactic Friday night — and ended up making more MSG history.
Curry had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in three quarters, Klay Thompson added 25 points, and the Golden State Warriors sent the frustrated New York Knicks to a fifth straight loss with a 126-103 victory.
Returning to the site of his sensational shooting performance of a year ago, when he scored a career-high 54 points on 11-of-13 shooting from 3-point range, Curry showed off his entire skill set in this one.
"To get a win this year is bigger than any stats, but to play well and to impact the game the way I wanted to, it definitely felt great," Curry said.
Curry joined LeBron James as the only visiting players with a 50-point game and a triple-double at the current MSG, opened in 1968. Knicks Patrick Ewing, Bernard King and Carmelo Anthony also did it.
"I’ve had teammates that had big nights a year ago and right away they’re thinking, `I’m going to have another big night scoring the basketball,’" Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "That’s not Steph Curry. He’s an unselfish basketball player and he’s all about the team."
The NBA’s assists leader made five 3-pointers, as did backcourt mate Thompson. The 6-foot-3 All-Star also grabbed nine defensive rebounds in his fourth career triple-double and third this season, bouncing back from one of his worst performances of the season. He had a season low-tying five points on 2-of-10 shooting Wednesday in a 103-83 loss to Chicago.
Golden State easily rebounded from that defeat to win for the fifth time in six games.
Anthony had 23 points and 16 rebounds for the Knicks, blown out for the second straight night in a season that’s starting to feel hopeless no matter what the sorry Eastern Conference standings say. They seem to know it, with an agitated Tyson Chandler thrown out in the fourth quarter after picking up two technical fouls, the first for shoving Warriors backup Marreese Speights.
"It’s not a mental thing, it’s a heart thing," Knicks forward J.R. Smith said. "You can’t let people score 40, 50 points in the paint over and over again, then we ain’t going to win. We ain’t going to win games like that."
New York is six games behind eighth-place Atlanta.
"I keep saying we’ve got to figure it out, figure it out, but it’s time where we should have it down pat by now," Anthony said. "We shouldn’t be in this position. But we’ve got games to play."
The Knicks lost by 26 at Miami on Thursday, but they were in that game in the second half. This one was over long before halftime, when fans booed them as they trudged off to the locker room.
A couple of "Fire Woodson! Fire Woodson!" chants broke out at Madison Square Garden in an atmosphere that was completely different from the Warriors’ visit here on Feb. 27, 2013.
Even Knicks fans cheered that night every time Curry pulled up in the second half. But the Knicks managed to win the game, pulling out a 109-105 victory after Raymond Felton blocked one of Curry’s late jumpers.
This time, Felton got a mixed reception when he was introduced during starting lineups for his first home game since his arrest on felony weapons charges. And the Knicks (21-38) never had any chance of winning, losing for the eighth time in nine games.
Golden State led 38-27 after one behind 12 points from Curry. Steve Blake opened the second with a 3-pointer and Jermaine O’Neal followed with a basket to make it a 16-point lead, and after the Knicks cut it to 10, the Warriors put it away by closing the half with a 15-4 spurt to open a 73-52 bulge.
Playing without Iman Shumpert (sprained left knee), Andrea Bargnani (left elbow) and Kenyon Martin (left ankle), the Knicks also were without Amare Stoudemire on the second night of the back-to-back, with coach Mike Woodson saying his knee was bothering him a little bit.
NOTES: Curry is one behind Indiana’s Lance Stephenson for the NBA lead in triple-doubles. Russell Westbrook also had a triple-double by the end of three quarters against the Knicks on Christmas Day. … The Knicks played some Jackson highlights during a first-half stoppage in tribute to the Warriors coach, a New York native, Knicks’ first-round pick and Rookie of the Year who spent his first six seasons with the franchise and later returned for a second stint.