In the Paint: Curry makes name for himself at MSG
Stephen Curry became the fifth player with a 50-point night and a triple-double at Madison Square Garden. (USATSI)
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It's as if Stephen Curry, like so many NBA greats of yesteryear, feels something special in the air at Madison Square Garden.
One year after scoring 54 points during one of the greatest shooting exhibitions in league history, Curry on Friday unveiled the many dimensions of his game in front of the New York audience, while taking apart the Knicks.
The Warriors' point guard needed only 30 minutes to accumulate 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for the fourth triple-double of his career in a 126-103 victory at the world's most famous sports arena.
"This is one of those arenas that you understand the history and you look forward to playing here," Curry said. "We only get to play here once a year, so it's a big game for us every time."
Two nights after Curry scored only five points on 2-of-10 shooting in a 20-point loss at Chicago, he dazzled the Knicks early and often. He had 20 points by halftime – when Garden fans showered the Knicks with boos – but his all-around game was the show.
"He is an incredible basketball player," coach Mark Jackson said. "He is unselfish. This shows his versatility. He comes in here last year and puts on a clinic with his ability to score. And tonight he did an outstanding job of running the show, picking and choosing his spots, making plays for other guys."
Curry played a big role in the rejuvenation of an fellow guard Klay Thompson, who finished with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Though this was Thompson's 11th 25-point night this season, it was his first in six weeks.
The Warriors (36-23) pulled away in the second quarter, went up as much as 27 points in the third, and were able to rest all five starters in the fourth.
It was a much more satisfying performance for Curry and the Warriors, who were 109-105 losers in the game a year ago when he scored 54 points on 18-of-28 shooting, including 11 of 13 from beyond the arc.
[REWIND: Breakdown: Curry scores 54 at MSG]
"To get a win this year is bigger than any stats," said Curry, whose 13 20-point, 10-assist games this season lead the NBA. "To play well, to impact the game the way I wanted to, definitely felt great."
Curry became only the fifth player -- and second visitor -- in the modern history of the Garden (1968) to post a 50-point game and a triple-double. The other four: Bernard King, Patrick Ewing, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.
THE GOOD: Curry owned the night. New Yorkers can be jaded, but they have deep appreciation of fine basketball. Curry is becoming a must-see performer at the Garden.
Thompson busted out with some beautiful 3-pointers and even got to the rim. Will this be the game that puts him on a roll?
Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green played strong defense on Anthony, who scored 23 points but made only 7 of 23 shots.
The starters built such a comfortable margin that Jackson was able to sit them in the fourth quarter. A little rest can go a long way on a road trip.
THE BAD: Not much to see here, folks, unless you're really unnerved by Andrew Bogut being whistled for five fouls in 12 minutes.
THE TAKE: The Warriors saw a wobbling team and bum-rushed it, which is what a quality NBA squad is supposed to do. In the process, they got a nice game from Thompson, who has struggled to be consistent. We learned that Curry can punish a porous defense, that O'Neal is playing inspired basketball and that Steve Blake is an asset -- all things we'd already deciphered.