Knicks 125, Warriors 119
A winning road trip would do a lot for the New York Knicks as they try to fight back from a slow start. Holding off the Warriors was an important step in itself for this bunch.
Raymond Felton scored a career-high 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting and dished out 11 assists, and the Knicks withstood Golden State's late rally to beat the Warriors 125-119 on Friday night and snap an eight-game losing streak in Oakland.
''It's nerve-racking because we haven't won (here) in 58,000 years,'' said New York coach Mike D'Antoni, whose team shot a season-best 57.1 percent. ''You've got to be able to close things out. I know we've got new guys, but it's still the same thing. We're working on that and I think we're getting better at it.''
Amare Stoudemire made a driving layin with 2:42 left and finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari added 23 points and knocked down a key 3-pointer with 1:25 left as New York handed the Warriors their first home loss of the season and ended a four-game skid in the series overall.
Monta Ellis scored 40 points for his sixth career 40-point game and Stephen Curry had 29 points, eight assists and five rebounds for the Warriors. Golden State won its first five games at Oracle Arena under first-year coach Keith Smart, the team's best home start since going 6-0 to begin the 1990-91 season.
Reggie Williams hit two key 3-pointers that pulled the Warriors within 104-100 with 6:47 to play and scored all but two of his 18 points in the final period. But the Knicks, who led by as many as 18 before letting Golden State get within two late, made the clutch plays down the stretch.
Warriors power forward David Lee watched this one from the bench in street clothes.
He attended the game against his former team one day after being released from a hospital following a second procedure on his left elbow to treat an infection. Lee - averaging 14.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 34.6 minutes in eight games after Golden State acquired him in a July trade with the Knicks - initially had surgery last Friday after he cut the inside of his elbow in a nasty collision Nov. 10 with the mouth of New York's Wilson Chandler, who left a fragment of a tooth in Lee's arm.
After Lee's elbow swelled and bled overnight, he went to an emergency room for antibiotics. He is wearing a brace and is scheduled to be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Vladimir Radmanovic earned his second straight start in place of Lee, getting six points on 2-for-7 shooting in 17 minutes. But the Warriors really miss Lee's rebounding. They were outboarded (42-33) for only the sixth time in their first 12 games.
Ellis shot 17 for 30. He hit 10 of his first 14 shots and started the second quarter by making five of six. But that didn't do it for a sellout crowd of 19,808 that went home disappointed. It was Golden State's first sellout this season.
''Monta is playing like our superstar,'' Smart said. ''Is he a superstar in the minds of everyone else? We've got to get somebody else on our team - two, three, one guy - to get to his level or halfway to his level.''
New York snapped a six-game losing streak with a 113-106 win at Sacramento on Wednesday and followed that up with another strong performance. The Knicks won in Oakland for the first time since Nov. 20, 2001.
Next up is a date with the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday night, the fifth of 21 back-to-back games for the Knicks this season and second of five on the road.
''We've got an opportunity to make this a special trip,'' Stoudemire said. ''After the slow start, we're starting to get our momentum, starting to get our swagger and our identity, (figure out) what type of team we are. And in the process, we're getting a few. So if we can go into L.A. and get this win, it'll be a great trip for us and we'll be on the right track.''
The Warriors won last week's meeting 112-91 at Madison Square Garden, surrendering a 19-point, third-quarter lead before holding on to win.
The Knicks' second bus was late arriving at Oracle Arena on a rainy Friday night with heavy rush-hour traffic.
It didn't keep New York from a hot start. The Knicks hit 10 of their initial 15 shots and made 16-of-18 free throws on the way to a 72-59 halftime lead. Golden State got to the line only five times in the first half.
Smart got on his team during the break about a lack of intensity. Ellis spoke up, too.
''The first half was sluggish,'' Williams said. ''The energy we brought in the second half was good, and hopefully we can carry that over to our next game.''
Notes: New York C Eddy Curry was away from the team to attend to a family matter. ... The Knicks improved to 2-5 vs. the Western Conference. ... The Warriors still have won 15 of the last 20 overall with the Knicks. ... Radmanovic celebrated his 30th birthday. ... Former Stanford star Landry Fields returned to the Bay Area with the Knicks. ... The Warriors announced a new partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) called ''Flip the Chip'' - a campaign to encourage fans to celebrate responsibly by ''flipping'' a chip to determine the designated sober driver before they head out to watch the game. ... Golden State celebrated Filipino Heritage Night.