OAKLAND – The Warriors came undone in the second quarter, and then made a valiant comeback effort but ultimately took an 89-84 loss to the Knicks on Sunday night at Oracle Arena.
It was a particularly stinging defeat for the Warriors (45-28), considering the playoff ramifications and the fact that the Knicks have played poorly this season.
Stephen Curry did his part, scoring a game-high 32 points – 22 of which came in the second half. Klay Thompson added 15 and Andre Iguodala 12.
Playing without starting center Andrew Bogut and starting power forward David Lee, the Warriors (45-28 managed to outrebound the Knicks 46-40 but were outscored 34-24 in the paint.
The loss dropped the Warriors to 14-6 since the All-Star break and kept alive New York's playoff aspirations.
Jermaine O'Neal started in place of Bogut and finished with 8 points and 12 rebounds. Marreese Speights started for Lee but was ineffective, finishing with 4 points on 2-of-8 shooting.
The Warriors shot only 35.4 percent from the floor and 31.3 percent from 3-point range.
The Knicks (31-43) were led by guard J.R. Smith, who scored 21 points and grabbed five rebounds. Carmelo Anthony added 19 and Amar'e Stoudemire 15.
Curry was the offensive MVP by a thousand miles. He hit all manner of shots, all of them big. He was the only Warrior to come close to making half his shots, hitting 10 of 21.
Draymond Green played a solid game on defense. He forced a couple turnovers, blocked a couple shots and grabbed five rebounds. He was a catalyst for the aborted comeback.
Iguodala deserves special mention for turning four shots into 12 points.
After a Thompson floater gave the Warriors a 44-41 lead with 2:30 left in the half, the Knicks responded by closing the half with a 15-0 blitz, taking a 56-44 lead into intermission.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson never called a timeout during the run.
The Knicks shot 64 percent in the second quarter and never again trailed.
C Andrew Bogut (pelvis/groin contusion) and PF David Lee (strained right hamstring) did not play and are questionable for the upcoming two-game road trip. C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery rehab) is out.
The Warriors on Monday head for Texas, where on Tuesday they face the Mavericks in their final meeting of the season. The Warriors won two of the last three games against Dallas but have not won three straight over the Mavs since 2006-07.