Second Half Surge Leads Warriors Over Knicks
Golden State Improves to 47-14
After allowing 64 points in the first half, the Warriors buckled down in the second on their way to a 125-11 road victory over the Knicks on Monday night. Lance Thomas knocked down a three-pointer just before halftime to give New York a one-point lead, but Golden State opened the third quarter on a 16-2 run, and the rest was history. Klay Thompson was hyper-efficient, converting 9-of-13 field goal attempts for a game-high 26 points. Kevin Durant added 22 points and nine rebounds, while Stephen Curry contributed 21 points and five assists. With the win, the Warriors improve to 47-14 on the season.
DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES TO START
Heading into Monday’s game, the Warriors were coming off a staunch defensive performance in which they held Oklahoma City to just 80 points, tying a season-low for points allowed. However, they were unable to carry that same defensive effort into the first half of the win over the Knicks. Golden State had no trouble scoring in the first quarter, but unfortunately neither did New York. The Knicks scored 39 points in the first frame, and held a 64-63 advantage at halftime. New York was uncharacteristically effective from long distance, as the Knicks came into the game ranking dead last in the NBA with an average of 7.8 three-pointers per game, but shot 6-of-12 from beyond the arc in the opening half.
Upon resumption of the second half, though, Golden State got back to their staunch defensive ways. They forced misses on New York’s first eight shot attempts of the third quarter, and would go on to limit them to just 18 points in the frame while they ran away with the contest.
ANOTHER THIRD QUARTER ONSLAUGHT
Not only did Golden State clamp down in the third quarter, but they also had their way on the offensive end as well. The Dubs opened the second half with 11-straight points, and after Tim Hardaway Jr. broke the seal with two free throws, Draymond Green would cancel those out with two free throws of his own, and the Warriors would go on to lead by double-digits for the rest of the night. In total, Golden State would outscore New York 39-18 in the third frame, marking the seventh time this season the Warriors have outscored their opponent by at least 20 points in the third quarter.
In that third quarter, the Warriors’ three leading scorers each eclipsed the 20-point plateau, as Thompson, Durant and Curry finished with 26, 22 and 21 points, respectively. It marked the 31st time all three All-Stars have scored at least 20 points in the same game, and Golden State is now 29-2 in those contests.
Monday’s game came one day before the five-year anniversary of Curry’s 54-point game at Madison Square Garden in 2013. He entered the night as the only player besides LeBron James to have recorded both a 50-point game and a triple-double at Madison Square Garden, and although he didn’t have a standout performance quite to that effect on Monday, Curry still left his mark on the audience. Late in the decisive third quarter, Curry converted his second four-point play of the season and the 22nd such play of his career.
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Warriors road trip continues in Washington D.C. on Wednesday against the Wizards.