by Jerry Feitelberg
Oakland- The Golden State Warriors returned home after a five-game road trip to play the visiting New York Knicks for the first time this season. The Knicks, with a record of 14-11, had to face the Dubs with two of their stars on the sideline. Derrick Rose was unavailable, and Carmelo Anthony did not play due to a sore shoulder. The Warriors were able to handle the rest of the Knicks and sent them down to defeat 103-90.
The Warriors trailed early 6-5 but took the lead for good when Draymond Green sank a three-point shot. The Dubs never looked back. They increased the lead to thirteen at the end of the first quarter. JaVale McGee, starting his second game in a row, was the high scorer for the Dubs with eight in the first quarter. McGee scored on a pass from Kevin Durant, he scored a layup on a pass from Steph Curry. He Made two dunks on lobs to account for his eight points. The Dubs increased the lead to fourteen at the half 59-45. The Dubs’ bench made contributions as the Knicks were able to keep Step nd KD in check. Klay Thompson led the Warrior attack with fourteen. KD had nine and Steph added six. The Dubs shot 52% from the floor and held the Knicks to 38.5% from the field. The Dubs were moving the ball well as the had 26 assists on 27 made baskets.
The Warriors put the game out of reach in the third quarter. About midway through the period, they went on a 14-0 run that sank the Knicks. JaVale McGee continued to play well. Ian Clark was effective coming off the bench as the Dubs increased the advantage to 22 as they owned the lead 88-66 after three-quarters of play. The Dubs played a lackadaisical fourth quarter. Most of the starters were removed from the game. They scored just fifteen points, and the Knicks were able to cut the deficit to twelve but the Dubs were able to run out the clock to preserve the win. Dubs win 103-90.
Game Notes- Klay Thompson was the player of the game for the Warriors. Klay scored twenty-five and had four assists and five boards. JaVale McGee, who played just fifteen minutes, had his best game of the season. He scored a season-high seventeen points. Kevin Durant had a double-double. He knocked down fifteen points to go along with eight assists and fourteen rebounds. Steph Curry scored just eight points, but he had eight assists and ten rebounds. Bench players Shaun Livingston, Ian Clark, Andre Iguodala, and Kevon Looney all made significant contributions to help the Dubs win. Former Warrior Justin Holiday led the Knicks with fifteen points. Brandon Jennings had ten: Courtney Lee nine, Ron Baker thirteen, and the big, big man 7 foot-3 inch Kristap Porzingis
The Warriors had 41 assists on 47 made basket. The team really moved the ball well and were able to find the open man. Steve Kerr said: “this was the lone bright spot of the game.” Kerr said this about the paly of the team during the game:”I didn’t think there was much purpose in the game. We looked tired and disinterested.”
The Warriors improve to 23-4 while the Knicks fall to 14-12.
Before the game, Steve Kerr asked both teams to join him at center court and the fans to stand the remember Craig Sager who passed away Thursday at the age of 65. Sager was a sideline reporter for many years and wore outrageous jackets and ties. He battled leukemia for three years until Thursday. Instead of a moment of silence, Kerr asked for a moment of joy and the teams and the fans responded with a loud and long round of applause for him. Also, before the game, Jerry West presented Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Carmelo Anthony with their Olympic championship rings.
The Warriors face the Portland Trailblazers Saturday night at Oracle Arens at 7:30 pm. The Blazers’ Damian Lillard, who is from Oakland, always plays his best against the Dubs. Should be an entertaining game.