A disheartening home record got another blemish on it as Golden State wasn't able to complete a comeback that shouldn't have been necessary in the first place.
Golden State led by ten at the end of the first quarter, and as much as twelve in the early moments of the second, but got absolutely eviscerated in the second quarter overall 34-12. Thanks to a Warriors all-bench lineup that went 3-14 in the first four minutes of the second quarter, New York was able to get back into the game.
After the Knicks went on a 12-0 run against the Stench Squad - tying the score at 34 midway through the quarter, they were able to carry that momentum into the last few minutes of the half. Klay Thompson's three that gave the Warriors an ephemeral 44-41 lead with 2:30 left were the last points Golden State would score in the first half. The Warriors would never lead again.
The Knicks were able to capitalize off of Warrior missed shots, turnovers, and inefficient isolation plays in the last few minutes of the second quarter; to contrast the Warriors offensive styles, New York was able to run, find open shooters and hit open threes, and behind Tim Hardaway Jr. and J.R. Smith went on a 15-0 run (!!!) to end the half, going up 56-44.
That's where the game turned sour for the Warriors, who were never able to lead in the second half.
Key Stat: Non-Stephen Curry Warriors shoot 18-58 from the field
Though Stephen Curry was able to lead the Warriors back in the second half, nobody else on Golden State could give him any help. Granted, David Lee (hamstring) and Andrew Bogut (pelvic contusion, Sam Amick reports he will be out for at least a week) were out for Golden State, but that the rest of the Warriors shot 18-58 (31%) against the fifth-worst defense in the NBA does not bode well for the stretch run or the postseason.
Klay Thompson shot just 6-18 from the field and hit only one of his last eight threes, scoring fifteen points. While he did have nine rebounds, Thompson did not garner any free throws or assists. Klay's failure to add anything else besides scoring on the offensive end really will hurt the Warriors when they need another shot creator in the playoffs.
Harrison Barnes struggled epically once again; one of the main objects of scorn for Warrior fans produced barely anything offensively during 21 minutes of court time and struggled to defend Carmelo Anthony. Barnes had just five points. Two for seven shooting. Two total free throws. Twice as many turnovers as assists. A plus-minus of minus-eighteen (yes, plus-minus has its flaws, but the stat shows just how badly Barnes struggled tonight). Barnes must break out of his slump if the Warriors are to advance past the first round.
Andre Iguodala did make nine of ten free throws (a good sign for the currently 62% free throw shooter this season) and had six rebounds and five assists, but shot just four times from the field, making just one of those attempts. While he was aggressive driving to the basket and hit his free throws, he couldn't hit his jumpers tonight. That was a risk the Knicks were willing to take. Iguodala must be able to hit those shots when the playoffs come, or the games will look a lot like tonight for the Warriors.
Warrior Wonder: Stephen Curry
I mean. Obviously.
Curry went 10-21 and shot 6-12 from three-point land en route to his 19th 30-point game of the season. He was the only Warrior to shoot over 43% from the field. While he only had one assist, his teammates' struggles definitely contributed to the lack thereof. The only Warrior who produced anything offensively the whole night. He is the entire Warrior team offensively, and tonight, it just wasn't enough.
Up Next: Tuesday @ Dallas Mavericks
With David Lee still suffering from a hamstring injury and Andrew Bogut out for a week at least with a pelvic contusion, the Warriors will probably trot out the same lineup we saw tonight. Dallas is nearly as bad as the Knicks on defense, but their offense is worlds better, among the best in the NBA: third in scoring and in the top five in effective field percentage (which accounts for the value of a three-point shot, something not accounted for in traditional field goal percentage). With Dirk Nowitzki, former Warrior Monta Ellis, and a championship coach in Rick Carlisle at the helm, Dallas is once again primed for a postseason upset with an excellent offense. That is, if they even get in.
For the Warriors to get a much-needed victory against the Mavericks, a team fighting both to even get in the playoffs and for seeding, the Warriors must get help outside of Stephen Curry and, as they've done all year, defend well, especially on Dirk Nowitzki. This game is paramountly important to both teams, who each need a win to remain in the playoff race. If the Warriors can execute better offensively and defend even better than they did tonight, they'll have a good shot at getting a crucial win.