Warriors dominate Knicks with defense
David Lee added another 20/10 game and was part of a season-best defensive effort. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Over the past several weeks, Warriors coach Mark Jackson has consistently voiced his displeasure in the team’s propensity for careless basketball.
Golden State, for at least one night, righted the ship in that regard as it beat New York 92-63 Monday at Oracle Arena.
The Knicks (38-23) turned 14 Warriors turnovers into just nine points, while Stephen Curry (26 points), Klay Thompson (23) and David Lee (21) all scored in double figures in Golden State’s most lopsided win of the season.
At the morning shootaround, Jackson outlined three basic ingredients for a Warriors win: “We have to take care of the basketball, we have to defend and we have to rebound,” he said.
Check, check and check.
New York’s 63 points were 20 less than the previous season low for a Warriors opponent this year and came as a result of a dreadful 20-of-73 (27.4 percent) performance from the field -- the worst in the NBA this season. Carmelo Anthony returned to the lineup after three games away due to injury and was 4-of-15 from the field for 14 points.
“That’s a heck of a defensive night and I don’t know how many teams in the history have nights like that,” Jackson said. “Takes a combination of great defense and also, at times, bad offense. I wish we could take all the credit, but it’s a combination. We’ve played that defense and teams have made shots.”
Knicks coach Mike Woodson agreed, at least partially.
“We had nothing going offensively and I don’t know if it was a whole lot of what they were doing,” Woodson said. “We put so much pressure to get stops based on how we played offensively that it was just a tough game to overcome. Shots that we normally make we just didn’t make and we compounded it on the other end as well.”
It was the first time the Warriors held an opponent to 63 points or less since the Philadelphia Warriors beat the Milwaukee Hawks in 1953 and first time since 1975 that a Warriors opponent shot worse than 30 percent from the field in a game.
Tyson Chandler, who had a career-high 28 rebounds in the first meeting between the two teams, was limited to just eight boards. Andrew Bogut and Lee -- both of whom were absent in the game at New York -- combined for 21 rebounds as Golden State (36-29) won the rebounding battle 59-42.
“We executed, we defended, we rebounded the basketball -- they hurt us in New York with Tyson Chandler dominating the paint and we kept a body on him,” Jackson said. “We were very unselfish and we played our brand of basketball.”
Jackson’s message had been simple: You turnover the basketball, you lose. And for the last nine games Warriors turnovers resulted in nearly 21 points per game for their opponents.
After scoring 54 points in a 109-105 loss at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 27, Curry turned in another good shooting performance. He and Thompson both finished 9-for-18 from the field and Curry was 6-of-10 from deep.
Curry picked up right where he left off in New York, hitting four of his first six shots, including three 3-pointers in the game’s first six and a half minutes. He finished the first quarter with 11 points to give him 61 against the Knicks in a four-quarter span.
He stayed hot in the second with a pair of threes as Golden State took a 50-35 lead into halftime.
New York was a miserable 12-of-40 (30 percent) from the field in the first half as it matched a first-half points low for a Warriors opponent this season. The Knicks knocked down just 2-of-12 attempts from deep and were outrebounded by Golden State, 27-22.
Festus Ezeli tied his season and career high with ten rebounds off the bench -- four on the offensive end.
“I told him to attack the glass like he’s been doing and play great on defense like he’s been doing and provide energy,” Lee said. “If he does that, he’s playing his role perfectly.”
With the Warriors leading 64-40 at the 6:50 mark of the third quarter, J.R. Smith was ejected following a flagrant foul type 1 on Harrison Barnes.
#WarriorsTalk Tweet of the Game
Warriors hold on to the #6 spot for another night.That should be the goal. Not just playoffs. Playoff positioning. #WarriorsTalk— Sports Opinions(@SportsOpinions) March 12, 2013
Jackson, Curry Keeping Tabs on NCAAs
Mark Jackson and Stephen Curry both had NCAA games to keep an eye on before tip off Monday as Jackson’s son, Mark Jackson Jr., and Curry’s Davidson Wildcats both were playing for their conference championships.
Curry said he watched the whole first half of Davidson’s 74-55 win against Charleston as it claimed its second straight Southern Conference title and tries to keep close tabs throughout the season.
“I watch most every game that I can if we’re not playing,” Curry said. “I always know what’s going on.”
Jackson Jr. is a reserve guard for Manhattan, which lost to Iona, 60-57, in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship.
The elder Jackson, who had the game streaming on his computer, had some advice for his son earlier in the day: “The bottom line is, stay ready and enjoy it. It goes by so fast,” Jackson said. “And the same message I talk to him every time that I talk to him, that I love him. That’s not going to change tournament or no tournament.”
Jackson Jr. did not appear in the game. He transferred from Louisville following last season and appeared in ten games, averaging 1.2 points and 1.0 rebounds per game.
Next Up -- Detroit
The Warriors will look to sweep the season series with Detroit at home on Wednesday. Golden State has won the last four meetings with the Pistons (23-43), who lost at Utah on Monday. Detroit had lost its last six games and nine of its last ten.
San Antonio 105, Oklahoma City 93: In a game between potential Warriors first-round playoff opponents, the Spurs got 21 points from Tiago Splitter to extend their lead to two games over the Thunder in the Western Conference standings.
Utah 103, Detroit 90: The Jazz (33-31) snapped its four-game losing streak behind 20 points from Mo Williams and 54 from its bench. The win elevates Utah into a tie with the Lakers for the No. 8 spot in the West.