Basketball fans in New York hoping to see a spectacular show were tortured by a choppy first quarter. The Warriors committed eight turnovers, many of which were unforced errors. Stephen Curry didn't help matters with a 1-of-6 start from the field, and most of those were cringe-worthy ducks with no hope of going in.
But those Knickerbocker fans still got to see an epic Warriors shooting performance...even if it didn't involve Curry. Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson torched the Knicks for 34 points on 14 of 18 shooting. Meanwhile, Draymond Green turned in his NBA-leading ninth triple double, with a tidy 20-10-10 slash line. What's more, he shot 9-of-9 from the field (yet hilariously went 0-for-2 at the free throw stripe). Way to celebrate your all-star nods, guys.
The Warriors opened the game with a ghastly, turnover-ridden first quarter, and would trail 20-18 after one frame. The boys in blue and gold would trail by as much as seven (27-20) in the second quarter before waking up, and taking over. Golden State would shoot 16-of-29 from three point range, as everyone in the lineup (except Curry) shot lights out. Nine of the twelve Warriors to play nailed at least one three point bucket (step it up, Ian Clark).
The Warriors kept the ball moving throughout the game, even after it became clear that Klay Thompson had entered "heat-check mode." Thompson probably would have had 50+ points on any other team, the way he played tonight. But not on this team: the commitment to sharing netted the team another 31 assists, and a sparkling 57.5% shooting night.
Despite the convincing margin of victory, the Warriors showed quite a few warts in Gotham. A number of players threw the ball away on un-Warrior-like miscommunications. More than one Warrior fumbled an easy entry pass for a turnover. And sideline club members received several souvenir basketballs in their lap (which they graciously returned to the NBA).
Fortunately, the road team's defensive effort was every bit as saintly as its ball charity (turnover joke!). Golden State limited New York to 36.7% shooting as a team, and forced the Knicks to rely on free throws to keep pace. But when a team collectively gets white hot, those ones and twos won't beat threes. It really is that simple.
After two consecutive brutal quarters nearly cost the Warriors in Philadelphia, the team has bounced back against a solid Knicks team in a big way. They'll have a few days off before their next game, in Washington DC on Wednesday. It will be the first meeting between the Warriors and the Wizards this season.