The Warriors finally came out to play on both ends tonight, and it resulted in one of their better wins of the season. No, the Knicks were not at full-health, with Carmelo Anthony ailing, Amar’e Stoudemire out, and J.R. Smith ejected, but nonetheless, holding any team to 63 points is impressive. They controlled the game from the 2nd Quarter on and completely dominated New York the way no one else has this season. They were physical, aggressive and committed to both defense and rebounding, which have been areas of concern recently. Led by a well-rounded defensive effort and 70 points from their 3 leading scorers, they took the game 92-63, and improved to 36-29. Some bullets from the win:
-Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson got going early, at one point making 6 consecutive shots in the 1st quarter. They finished with 26 and 23 points, respectively, and combined to hit 10 of 17 3-point shots.
-David Lee also recorded a near triple double, with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.
-Both Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli recorded double digit-rebounds in limited action. Bogut had 11 in 23 minutes, and Ezeli dominated the boards for 10 more in just 15 minutes, mostly during garbage time in the 4th quarter.
-Harrison Barnes didn’t have a particularly productive night, but was a key player in the stretch that saw the Warriors pull away for good in the 3rd quarter. He scored a couple baskets inside and drew a flagrant foul from J.R. Smith that, after review, saw the Knick guard ejected from the game.
-The Warriors defense caused the Knicks to score a season-low 63 points, and their .274 team shooting mark was the lowest recorded by any NBA team this season.
-In Carmelo Anthony’s return from a 3-game absence, he was held to just 14 points on 15 shots by a combined defensive effort from Thompson, Barnes, and Draymond Green.
-Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack combined for just 4 points on 8 shots to go with 7 turnovers, continuing their stretch of poor play, but it didn’t hamper the Warriors because of the great defense being played.
-As a team the Warriors had just the “Big 3” score in double figures, while the Knicks had only Chris Copeland and Raymond Felton join Anthony as players to score 10+ for the Knicks.
FINAL BULLET: After allowing Tyson Chandler to grab a career-high 28 rebounds (10 offensive) in their last meeting, the Warriors limited him to just 1 offensive board and 8 overall in 30 minutes, further showing their dominance on the glass in the win.
Player of the Game:
David Lee. In his return to the lineup after a knee contusion suffered against Houston, Lee had a great showing. He was active and looked better than expected. Getting him back helped energize the Warriors, as he helped his current team beat his former one.