Photo credit: nba.com/warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors put on a show at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, trailing at times but rallying in the fourth to obliterate the New York Knicks 128-100.
When asked what happened in the final quarter, Knicks head coach David Fizdale replied: “Kevin Durant.”
“I saw our young guys, I just saw that look of, ‘We’ve done enough tonight. We played them hard enough.’ We played three and a half really good quarters,” Fizdale said his postgame interview. “With a champion, that’s not enough. That’s not even enough if you’re an established team against a champion so you’ve got to keep your focus and maintain your discipline all the way to the end. We just haven’t been able to sustain that.”
Durant scored 25 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter. He also contributed throughout the game. He made a dunk on a Warriors fast break early in the first to tie the game at 10 points. The Warriors regained a lead, but Trey Burke made a running layup tie the game again at the end of the quarter at 25.
The teams were tied at the half, too, at 53.
New York played a solid game until the Warriors decided to dominate late in the third. Golden State trailed 10 points with less than two minutes left in the quarter, and whittled the Knicks’ lead to 3 points.
“I think that group that we had in the end of the third kind of changed the mindset,” Draymond Green told reporters after the game. “They were battling, and they got us a little momentum going into the fourth and we picked it up from there.”
Durant was on fire in the fourth, making layups, jump shots, a fadeaway shot and a free throw.
“We’ve seen KD do it like he did tonight,” Stephen Curry said postgame. “To do it in the garden is a different buzz as well. Low-key we become fans on the court watching greatness.”
Durant, whose future could be with the Knicks in light of his free agency, had 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Curry scored 29 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had a hard time remembering exactly when the team had consecutive games with such “spectacular” performances from the two stars. Curry scored 51 points on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
“They generally both play well every night so it’s hard to assess that kind of stuff. In back-to-back games they have both been phenomenal,” Kerr said. “Obviously, we are tough to beat when they both play like that.”
The Warriors (5-1) continue their three-game road trip on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets (2-3) at Barclays Center. Tip-off is at 2 p.m.