Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks stood no chance against the Warriors on Wednesda as Golden State cruises to a 121-85 victory.
OAKLAND – Phil Jackson wisely ended his road trip in Los Angeles and thus was spared the humiliation of watching Stephen Curry — Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf as Jackson calls him — pick apart his sorry team.
The Knicks were outclassed and outworked by Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, losing 121-85 in a game that was never a game after the first few minutes. Curry was nothing short of brilliant, scoring 34 points in 28 minutes while sitting out the fourth quarter.
“The things that he’s been doing is unseen,” Kristaps Porzingis said. “It’s unbelievable. What can you do there? You can’t do anything, really. If he can make those shots he can kill any team.”
Curry, the reigning MVP, made 12 of 20 shots including eight of 13 3-pointers in his first game against the Knicks since Jackson, in a tweet, compared Curry to the former Chris Jackson.
“I didn’t really think about it too much,” Curry said late Wednesday. “There was a lot of noise that week.”
In fact, after Jackson’s controversial tweet comparing Curry to Abdul-Rauf, the Warriros star took to YouTube to watch some the former NBA guard’s college games.
“There are some similarities for sure,” Curry said diplomatically. “I didn’t know much about his game. I knew who he was. I was pretty impressed.”
Curry is headed for a second straight MVP while he and the Warriors are within striking distance of history. Wednesday’s win improved the Warriors record to 61-6, leaving them 11 victories shy from matching the Chicago Bulls league record of 72-wins set 20 years ago.
The Knicks–just like the rest of the NBA–have no answers for Stephen Curry, who finishes with 34 points.
The current state of the Knicks isn’t so promising. They fell to 28-41 and are one loss away from clinching a third straight losing season, including the last two under Jackson who was hailed as a savior.
“I can’t really pinpoint what was really going on,” Carmelo Anthony said. “It was just a tough loss to take on the chin, the way we lost. It’s kind of hard to pinpoint.”
When asked why it was so difficult to accept, Anthony added: “I just felt like at times we didn’t even try to compete out there. Even though they shot extremely well, two-pointers, three pointers, free throws…they had a complete game. Everyone was involved on their end. Sometimes it felt like we weren’t competing out there at times.”
The Knicks are also 5-10 under interim head coach Kurt Rambis, who Jackson endorsed last week to return in his current role next season. However, Anthony said on Tuesday that Jackson should at least consider interviewing other candidates.
No-show performances like this don’t help Rambis’ cause. The Knicks trailed by 16 at halftime before the deficit ballooned to 33 in the third quarter.
“I think our guys are better than what they showed,” Rambis said.
Late in the period, Curry banked in a three and on the ensuing possession, he hit a fade away from the corner while leaning to his right. By the time the ball touched the net, Curry was already five feet behind the baseline. It was a sight to behold.
Jose Calderon sits on the floor hurt as the Knicks are humiliated by the 61-6 Warriors.
“He’s a quick shooter,” Rambis said. ”It’s almost a one-motion shot. As soon as it hits his hands, he’s already actually shooting the ball, so you’ve got to be all the way up in him.
“You can’t give him any air space whatsoever and that makes it very challenging for an opponent to guard, because he’s not only a great shooter, but he’s a willing passer and a he’s potent driver.”
Curry, who scored just 13 points when the Warriors defeated the Knicks six weeks ago in New York, had 16 by the end of the first quarter and 21 by halftime. His three midway through the third quarter gave him 26 and extended the Warriors to 26. Moments later, his outlet pass led to Harrison Barnes’ lay-up that made it 76-48. Curry finished with four assists, including two lob passes to Andrew Bogut for dunks.
Klay Thompson added 19 points, Bogut finished with 10 points and seven rebounds while Draymond Green added six points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The only Golden State starter to see the floor in the fourth quarter was Barnes.
Anthony also sat the fourth quarter after scoring 18 points in 30 minutes. He was the only Knicks starter in double figures. Porzingis, who missed Sunday’s game with a stomach virus, looked weak and lethargic. He missed 10 of 11 shots and scored just two points. Sasha Vujacic scored four while Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon both contributed just one field goal. In fact, the Warriors starting five outscored the Knicks starters 77-28.
“We didn’t come with the right mindset thinking that we could really win this ballgame,” Rambis said. “I don’t think our guys were ready to meet that challenge.”