The Knicks couldn’t keep the winning vibes going, dropping their second game of the season and first of a three game West Coast trip to the Golden State Warriors, 92-78.
This was a game of two halves for the Knicks. In the first half, the ‘Bockers shot 45.7% from the field, while holding the Warriors to 35.1%, shooting to take a 43-37 lead. Just as they did in the first quarter against the Celtics, the Knicks were very active on defense. They harassed the Warriors into turning over the ball six times in the first quarter.
The Warriors were without starting PG Stephen Curry, who tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle this past Monday in a victory over the Bulls. Also, starting SG Monta Ellis was playing with a heavy heart after the passing of his grandmother two days ago, not to mention his impending harassment suit. He struggled during a 4-for 15, 10 points first half.
Ellis wasn’t the only star struggling, as Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony combined for just 15 points on 4-for 14 shooting in the first half. However, Landry Fields had a strong half with 13 points and two steals. Bill Walker must’ve still been pumped after the whole KG thing, as he had seven points on a perfect three-for three from the floor.
The Knicks however, couldn’t put the Warriors away in the half, thanks to the Golden State bunch scoring 12 points off of seven Knicks turnovers. Meanwhile, the Knicks could only manage four points off of 10 Warriors turnovers. They were also outrebounded 23-18 (seven to one on the offensive glass). Second year guard Ish Smith, replacing Curry in the starting lineup, scored seven of his 11 points in the first quarter to help keep the Warriors close.
The third quarter was the Brandon Rush show. The fourth year reserve formally of the Indiana Pacers scored 12 of his 19 points in the quarter, helping the Warriors take the lead with 4:52 remaining. STAT seemed to find his groove a bit, scoring eight points in the quarter, which ended in a 64-64 tie.
In the third quarter, parallels to the opening day affair started to show up. After being in the lead, ‘Melo picked up his fourth foul that forced him to ride the bench for the rest of the quarter. With ‘Melo off the floor, the Warriors worked their way back into the game, ultimately taking a lead. Even though it was a very sloppy game, Knicks fans hoped that Anthony’s talent could, once again, win the game for them.
However, in the fourth quarter, the wheels fell off for the Knicks. They were outscored 28-14, shooting just 26.3% from the floor on five-for19 shooting. After his stellar fourth quarter against the Celtics, Melo was almost invisible, missing all four of his field goal attempts and scoring on just one free throw. He would end the game with just 13 points on 3-for-13 shooting. After his strong first half, Fields was non-existent in the second half, making bad decisions with the ball and losing the aggressiveness he showed in the first half. Bad Toney Douglas showed up for this game, as TD had just six points, going 0-for-5 on his three point attempts.
Very few positives to take out of this one. For a second straight game, Tyson Chandler found himself in foul trouble and was limited to just three rebounds and 0 blocks (same goose egg the rest of the team put up). Josh Harrellson, who admitted to having nerves during his first game against the Celtics, still seemed to be in awe as he gave the team close to nothing. If the Knicks want to keep STAT at PF, one of the two big men (Jorts or Jerome Jordan) need to give positive minutes off the bench while Jared Jeffries recovers (never thought I’d be missing Jared Jeffries). It was encouraging to see Bill Walker put up 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting (including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc). The Knicks need some source of offense off the bench until Baron Davis can return and push TD back to his regular spot as a scorer off the bench.
Tomorrow night, a battle with the purple and gold, LA Lakers.