By Matthew Harrington
On the biggest stage of the basketball world in the city the boasts the bright lights of Broadway Stephen Curry hogged the spotlight in another part of Manhattan. The Golden State Warriors point guard pieced together a virtuoso performance in a 126-103 blowout over the New York Knicks Friday night on the hallowed court of Madison Square Garden. Curry’s command performance included 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, a triple-double for the maestro out of mid-major Davidson College.
A year and a day removed from Curry’s opening act, a 54-point explosion at MSG in another Warriors victory, the Warriors All-Star composed his Friday Evening encore on 9 of 19 from the field. Klay Thompson played the perfect accompanist to Curry, falling a basket shy of matching Curry’s 27 points with 25 of his own.
Forward David Lee made his first start, and second appearance, since missing time due to the flu. He pitched in 10 points in 24 minutes of play. Jermaine O’Neal continued his superb support of Lee and the banged-up Bogut, posting 15 points in 20 reliable minutes of play of the bench.
Carmelo Anthony hogged the spotlight for the Knicks (21-38), collecting 23 points on 7-of-26 shooting. He converted the double-double on 16 rebounds, a game-high. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 22 points while J.R. Smith added 17 of his own. The Knicks shooters were held in check by the Warriors defense, with the New Yorkers connecting on a 37.9 shooting percentage.
The Warriors (36-23) spent only a minute of game time trailing the Knicks in total, trading leads six times over the first two minutes. The Warriors would go on a 10-0 lead to stake themselves to a 15-6 lead 4:30 into the first. From there, the Warriors were able to maintain the pace, finishing the quarter with 23 points to 21 Knicks tallies. The second quarter was a repeat performance of the first, with the Warriors outpacing New York 35-25 for a 73-52 edge at the half. The hosts would outscore their visitors 28-26 in the third, but the road team closed out the game with 27 fourth quarter points to 23 from the home squad for the final 126-103 mark.
On tap for the Dubs, winners of five of their last six, is a trip north of the border for a Sunday showdown with the Toronto Raptors before stops in Indiana and Boston. A win for the Warriors at any of the three stops would guarantee a .500 winning percentage on their current six-game road trip, the second longest stint away from home this season.