The Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (30) drives around the New York Knicks Nerlens Noel (3) at Madison Square Garden in New York on Tue Feb 23, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
Having lost two close games in Orlando and Charlotte, the Warriors survived a woeful fourth quarter to beat the New York Knicks 114-106. The Warriors stopped a two-game losing streak to improve to 17-15 for the season.
The win avenged a loss they suffered to the Knicks at the Chase Center last month. In that game, the Knicks defense stopped the Warriors’ offense cold. Revenge was sweet but getting to the finish line Tuesday was not easy.
The Warriors had James Wiseman and Kevon Looney back in the lineup Tuesday night. Wiseman missed 11 games with a sprained wrist. Looney missed about three weeks due to an ankle injury. With the two big men in the lineup, the Warriors outscored the Knicks 36-31 in the first quarter.
The Knicks vaunted defense held the Warriors to 19 points in the second period. New York outscored the Warriors 28-19 to finish the first half leading 59-55. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 11. Kent Bazemore, coming off the bench, connected on three threes. Elfrid Payton and Derrick Rose led the Knick attack with 12 points each. Julius Randle, who will be going to the All-Star game in March, had eleven.
The Warriors went on an 8-0 run to start the third quarter to lead 63-39. Curry led the Warriors in the quarter with 15 points. Kelly Oubre, Jr., Andrew Wiggins, and James Wiseman all made vital baskets to keep Golden State in the lead. The Warriors finished the third quarter ahead 94-85. They appeared to be on the road to victory.
As has been his custom, Steve Kerr started his second unit for the game’s final 12 minutes. They had one problem to overcome-the Knicks defense. New York stopped the Warrior offense cold.
Had the Knicks’ offense showed up, the Warriors would have lost their third game in a row. The Warriors put one point on the board in the first four minutes of the quarter. The tally after six minutes and 28 seconds was three points.
New York’s offense was slightly better. They scored seven. The Knicks tied the game at 97. Curry took over the Warrior offense. He made a three to put the Warriors ahead 100-97. The Warriors never trailed.
New York kept coming back, but the Warriors didn’t falter. They led 105-102 with 1:12 left. Kelly Oubre made two buckets to give Golden State a six-point lead 109-103. The Knicks fouled Curry and had a technical foul called on them. Steph made all three free throws. The Knicks knocked down a three. Curry made two more free throws to ice the win 114-106.
Game Notes and stats: With the win, the Warriors are 17-15 for the season. The Knicks are 15-17.
The Warriors’ Draymond Green apologized to the team for his actions that cost the Warriors a win in Charlotte. Green played well Tuesday night. His line was seven points, nine rebounds, and twelve assists.
He kept his temper under control, and that helped the Warriors to victory. Curry scored 37 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists. Curry was nine for 22 from the floor. He was seven-for 14 from downtown.
Kelly Oubre had 19 points and eight rebounds. Andrews Wiggins finished with 16 points and five boards. James Wiseman tallied 14. Kent Bazemore had 9. Eric Paschall 8. The Warriors shot 45% from the floor.
They connected on 13 threes. The Warriors beat the Knicks’defense by recording 30 assists and 40 made field goals. The Warriors defense had nine steals, eight blocked shots, and they forced 13 Knick turnovers. The Warriors scored 13 points off the Knick turnovers. The Knicks outrebounded the Warriors 67-47.
Julius Randle paced the Knicks with 25 points and ten rebounds. Elfrid Payton had 20, Derrick Rose, 16. Taj Gibson, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel each had eight.
Fans were allowed back into Madison Square Garden for the game. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said there was a different vibe in the games the Warriors had played in front of fans.
“Even just having a couple thousand fans makes a difference,” he said. “It just feels more normal, more real. The crowd noise actually shows up at the exact right time and not canned laughter like in a sitcom.
The Warriors play the Indiana Pacers Wednesday. The game will start at 4:30 pm.