Knicks Overcome Curry’s 54 Point Explosion In Win Over Warriors

Published on: 28th February, 2013

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Curry scores 54
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New York – In what was one of the more exciting games of this NBA season, including a scintillating performance by Stephen Curry, the Knicks showed fortitude and some long lost scoring firepower tonight in defeating a short-handed but game Golden State Warriors, 109-105.

The Warriors, playing without their All-Star power forward David Lee and their injured franchise center, Andrew Bogut, nevertheless unleashed a one-man wrecking crew on the Knicks in the person of their explosive point guard, Curry. All he did tonight was to light up the scoreboard at Madison Square Garden like it hadn’t been lit in several years.

In a dominating 48 minutes, during which Warriors coach, Mark Jackson never removed him from the game, Curry scored a career-high 54-points which was also the highest scoring game in the NBA this season. He did so in the most efficient of manners, hitting on 18 of his 28 shots from the floor and, astoundingly, 11 of 13 shots from beyond the 3-point stripe. Throw in his perfection from the foul line (7 of 7) and the young man had a game for the ages.

The Warriors, playing the second game of a back-to-back after losing in Indiana last night were a tired team, coming into tonight’s contest. The removal of the former Knick fan favorite Lee, suspended earlier in the day by the league for getting into a brawl with Pacers center Roy Hibbert, denied them of their best all-around player and leading rebounder from tonight’s equation.

Carmelo Anthony Scored 35 for Knicks Against Warriors

“I’m extremely proud of my guys,” said Jackson, the Warriors coach. “We might have been overmatched at times but our guys didn’t quit. They continued to battle. It was a phenomenal performance by Steph Curry.”

Jackson continued on Curry. “We were short-handed and needed a performance like that to have a chance,” he said. “He put on a clinic. He knocked down shots in all areas. He led us in rebounding. I’ve seen a lot of great performances in this building and his goes up there. That performance was a thing of beauty.”

But, it wasn’t enough to put his Warriors over the top, tonight. In a game of 14-lead changes, but no lead exceeding six points during the second half, these teams kept going at each other, with finesse and with physicality. It was like a boxing match, each team taking turns hitting three-point bombs at key moments and crashing the boards like every rebound would make the difference between winning and losing.

No one chased down more rebounds than the Knicks Tyson Chandler, who, without having to battle a legitimate NBA center tonight was able to dominate the boards in the way Bill Russell of the old Boston Celtics used to dominate. Chandler grabbed a Russell-esque 28-rebounds, a career-best, to go along with 16-points as he teamed with Carmelo Anthony (35-points, eight assists) to lead the Knicks.

“It was a great game to play in,” Chandler said. “I think it was great for the fans and even better for us to get the victory.”

His huge rebounding effort wasn’t lost on him or on his teammates.

“I go into every game trying to figure out how I can make an impact on my team,” he said. “Maybe I could have gotten to 30-rebounds if we had quieted Steph down a bit but he kept hitting everything.”

Knicks coach Mike Woodson seemed in awe of both Curry’s and Chandler’s performances.

“Tyson was unbelievable, tonight,” Woodson said. “I thought he was the difference in the game in terms of our defense. He got everything off the glass, and the double teams, he was a part of our great double-team tonight when we doubled on the ball.”

As for Curry, Woodson smiled and said, “We planned to double him from the very beginning but it backfired, he beat all of that. He’s a young player who really starting to figure it out. He’s beautiful to watch, and he has great genes. His dad, Dell Curry, was a damned good player, too.”

But, as Woodson usually pontificates, it is always defense that wins games.

“We closed it out, we made the defensive stops that we had to make coming down the stretch,” he said. “We made two or three defensive stops, got the trap where Jarrett Jack traveled and the block that Raymond Felton had on Curry.”

It was one of those memorable NBA games that are often made more memorable by the very fact it’s been played in Madison Square Garden. That’s not just regional bragging about the local arena; it’s something noticed by the players in this league.

“There is a lot of energy in this arena for both teams,” said Curry. “When I started to put up some numbers, you could hear the crowd a little bit. When they began knocking down dagger threes, it became electric in here. We were tired but we were also running off adrenaline down the stretch, something this building gives you.”

A special night for sure for the home team and for the young wonderkind who’s previous career-high was 44-points scored in an NCAA tournament game when he starred for tiny Davidson College.

As he looked at the stat sheet for the first time in the locker room, Curry saw the number 54 next to his name and all he could muster was, “Whoa.”

Imagine what words he might have come up with if his team had won, tonight.

 

Knicks Notes: Chandler’s 28 rebounds was the second most recorded in the NBA this season (Nicola Vucevic of Orlando had 29). Curry’s 54-points was the first 50-point game versus the Knicks since Carmelo Anthony (yeah, that Carmelo Anthony) scored 50 against them as a member of the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 27, 2009. This is also the first 50-point game at Madison Square Garden by an opposing player since LeBron James on Feb. 4, 2009 (52 points). Anthony’s eight assists were a season high and his 30 points was the 20th time this season he’s gone over the 30-point mark.

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