There’s something about playing the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden that brings out the best in Stephen Curry. Last year it was a 54-point performance, and this season it’s a triple double against a sad, broken down team, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 126-103 win.
Curry finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, getting his triple double before the end of the third quarter. It is his fourth career triple double and third this season, and an excellent way of bouncing back from his atrocious performance against the Chicago Bulls, arguably the worst he had over the last two years. He is now one of two players, joining LeBron James, with a 50-point game and a triple double when visiting the Madison Square Garden, who sadly for the Knicks has become an arena that sees too many great games by visiting players.
It was quite the shooting performance from the Splash Bros, combining to score 52 points and hit 10 times from beyond the arc. The Warriors were up by 21 points at half time, scoring 73 points through the first two quarters. It’s not like the Knicks played bad offense. It was just ineffective, as Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points on 26 shots, and the team shot 37.9% from the field, adding to their usual non-existent defense.
So while the Knicks’ situation seems to get worse, not getting any closer to the Atlanta Hawks and suddenly feeling the Cleveland Cavaliers are pulling away as well, the Warriors got the kind of game to bring their confidence back up. No interior toughness to oppose them, and getting David Lee and Andrew Bogut in the lineup together after a while, not needing the two of them to stay on the floor for too long, which is always great with injury-prone big men.
The game was also a chance to see some stat stuffing off the bench for some players, like Jermaine O’Neal scoring 15 points and Marreese Speights adding 12 in only 10 minutes. Everything worked so easily against a Knicks team that keeps saying the same old things: We shouldn’t be in this place, there’s still time to get something out of this season. But games go by, losses pile up, and they’re no closer to the playoffs or actually looking like a well-coached team than they were two months ago.
The Warriors need to find consistency. Not just in their shooting, but also in staying healthy, even though it’s not always up to anyone to make that right. But their key to success this season is putting together a strong run to end the season, and somehow get home court advantage for at least one series. Add that to a defense that sometimes looks like one of the best in the league and on other nights is lacking in so many ways, it’s quite easy to identify that this win over the Knicks is only the start of what might be a great finish, but not something to hang on to tightly, because this just might be the worst team in the league right now out of those not trying to lose on purpose.