Despite Rally, Depleted Dubs Downed by Desperate Knicks

By Matthew Harrington

With Oakland native MC Hammer sitting courtside at Oracle Arena, it was the visiting New York Knicks who brought the hammer down on the shorthanded Golden State Warriors 89-84 Sunday night. New York used a big second quarter to grab the lead before its play down the stretch in holding off a Warriors comeback bid echoed Hammer’s hit “Can’t Touch this”.

Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry continued his strong play against the Knicks, collecting his third 30-plus point performance against the Gothamites in two seasons. Curry went 10-for-21 from the field, including hitting half of his 12 three-point attempts, for 32 points in 40 minutes of play. Andre Iguodala (12) and Klay Thompson (15) also finished in double-digits in scoring, but the absence of David Lee and Andrew Bogut from the frontcourt doomed the Dubs.

Guard J.R. Smith topped the Knicks with 21 points while Carmelo Anthony went 7-of-21 from the field for 19. Amare Stoudemire reeled in a game-high 13 rebounds for the desperate Knicks (31-43) who entered Sunday sitting a game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Warriors (45-28) appeared to have the game in hand after a dominant 32-22 first quarter but the visitors fired back with a dominant second 12 minutes to take the 56- 44 halftime lead. New York stifled its host to only 12 second-quarter points while exploding for 34 of its own.

The Dubs cut the lead by four after the third frame, scoring 22 points to New York’s 18 then continued its run to nearly force a tie early in the quarter at 74-72. The Knicks would add breathing room before a Warriors 6-0 run capped by a Curry trey knotted the game at 81-81 with 2:48 left in regulation. The Knicks held the Warriors to only one basket, a three out of the hands of Thompson, down the stretch while Anthony netted four of New York’s eight points over final three minutes to hang on for the win.

Golden State hopes to have Lee back for Tuesday’s pivotal contest in Dallas with Western Conference playoff implications. The Mavericks currently sit in ninth place, outside the playoffs looking in, and are two games behind the Warriors who sit in sixth place. Bogut is not expected to play Tuesday or Wednesday night as Golden State heads to San Antonio Spurs.

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