Notebook: Warriors 92, Knicks 63



Posted Mar 12, 2013 2:08 AM

By Geoff Lepper, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: David Lee returned from a one-game injury absence to deliver 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the Golden State Warriors' 92-63 victory Monday against a New York Knicks team that scored fewer points than any Warriors opponent in nearly six decades.

The Knicks' 63 points matches the lowest total allowed by the Warriors (36-29) since the Philadelphia incarnation of the franchise beat the Milwaukee Hawks 69-63 on Dec. 28, 1953. Stephen Curry, who rained a career-high 54 points on the Knicks (38-23) last month at Madison Square Garden was held, loosely speaking, to 26 points and six rebounds this time. Klay Thompson added 23 points and five boards as the Warriors' backcourt combined for 10 3-pointers. That was double the output of the Knicks' entire roster. New York shot 27.4 percent from the floor, the franchise's worst mark in at least 28 seasons.

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony played after resting his sore right knee for three games and was noticeably slowed in a 14-point, 10-rebound night.

QUOTABLE: "That's a heck of a defensive night. I don't know how many teams in history have nights like that. It takes a combination of great defense and also, at times, bad offense. I wish we could take all the credit, but it was a combination. We've played that defense [before] and teams have made shots."

-- Warriors coach Mark Jackson

THE STAT: New York came in averaging the second-most 3-pointers made per game (10.83), just 0.01 behind league-leading Houston. And the Warriors allowed a combined 28 treys in their last two games, losses to the Rockets and Bucks. Yet the Knicks still went a wretched 5-for-27 (18.5 percent) from behind the arc.

TURNING POINT: This one was over early, thanks to the Warriors' 17-4 run midway through the second quarter. That stretch -- powered by six points from Curry and four points with two assists by Lee -- sapped any drama from the evening, unless you count Lee's futile pursuit of a fourth career triple-double.

QUOTABLE II: "Get used to us. We're not going anywhere."

-- Mark Jackson

HOT: Curry had 11 points in the first 6:14, sowing panic in the Knicks' defense and forcing New York to try desperate double-teams. That just opened up more space for other Warriors to operate the rest of the night.

NOT: The Knicks' shooting simply flat-lined during the second quarter, with no hopes of resuscitation; they were 2-for-7 in the lane and 2-for-15 outside the paint.

QUOTABLE III: "The ball got stuck a lot. We didn't have much ball movement. We didn't have too many guys get into a rhythm. We had to force shots tonight and we missed them."

-- Knicks center Tyson Chandler

GOOD MOVE: With the Knicks attempting to trap along the perimeter as much as possible, the Warriors smoothly transitioned to Plan B, which was to cast Lee in a more focal role. The former Knicks All-Star responded with nine points and three assists while playing the entire second quarter.

BAD MOVE: Woodson tried to inject life in his second-half lineup by starting J.R. Smith over James White, but it backfired when the Knicks' Sixth Man of the Year candidate was ejected less than six minutes into the third quarter. Smith voiced his displeasure multiple times in the first half after failing to be rewarded with foul calls on his drives, so it was hardly a shock when he came down hard with both arms to deliver a foul on Warriors rookie Harrison Barnes with 6:51 remaining in the third. A flagrant foul was called immediately, and crew chief Joey Crawford jumped it to a level-2 infraction upon watching the replay, leading to Smith's ejection. He finished with nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.

RISKY MOVE: With Anthony having not played in a week, putting him back on the floor with 9:18 to go and the Knicks down 20 seemed like a questionable long-term tactical move. Woodson nevertheless did it, and it failed to move the needle in the short-term; the Knicks trailed by 24 when Anthony checked out for good at the 5:25 mark.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: If the Knicks had a bright spot, it would be Chris Copeland, who at least brought some activity to the floor: 15 points, six rebounds, five fouls and four turnovers in 19 minutes.

ROOKIE WATCH: Warriors center Festus Ezeli notched 10 rebounds in 15 minutes.

NOTABLE: This was the Warriors' largest margin of victory this season. . . . Garbage time was truly an accurate descriptor for this fourth quarter, when the teams combined for just 26 points (Golden State outscored New York 17-9). . . . The Knicks' shooting percentage was the lowest allowed by the Warriors since holding Washington to 26.9 percent on Nov. 22, 1975.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Wednesday @ Detroit, Thursday @ Portland, Sunday @ Clippers. For the Warriors, Wednesday vs. Detroit, Friday vs. Chicago, Sunday @ Houston.