One team came to play Wednesday night. It wasn’t the New York Knicks.
The Golden State Warriors made it an even 50 consecutive home wins at Oracle Arena — the first team in any of the four major sports to do so — raking an overmatched Knicks squad 121-85 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final score.
Andrew Bogut said about prioritizing a championship over records:
“Hopefully the end result is a championship, because all these records won’t look as good as the asterisk next to them that says ‘not a championship.'”
Typically scorching long-range Golden State shooting proved fatal against New York, as Stephen Curry led the way with a game-high 34 points (12-for-20, 8-for-13 from three).
Neither team came out of the gate hot in the first quarter. The Warriors (61-6) missed their first six shots, and it wasn’t until four minutes into the game that Andrew Bogut advanced the score column with an athletic alley-oop that saw the big man soar some two feet above the rim to finish off a Curry lob.
New York (28-41) didn’t fare much better, launching several ill-advised jumpers, seemingly locked up by the Golden State defense.[envira-gallery id=”174855″]
After the four-minute mark, when it appeared that the Warriors may experience a rare low-scoring quarter, Curry reminded everyone what the defending MVP is capable of, stroking consecutive treys on three possessions. Continuing his hot streak, Maureese Speights hit the final three to cap a 31-19 lead. He finished with 13 points on the night (4-for-8, 3-for-5 on threes).
“He’s definitely confident out there now. We love that. It adds a new element to our lineup and our rotation … it’s a crowd pleaser and it gets us going on the bench too.”
“At the All-Star break I started shooting a lot of them. I knew coming back, I was probably going to have to put a lot of them up. It’s all about repetition and getting them up.”
The Western Conference leaders stayed hot into the second frame, sinking six of their first nine attempts, including three-pointers from Speights, Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson en route to a 20-point lead with seven minutes left in the half.
Golden State barely missed a beat with Curry and Draymond Green off the court. When Curry made his inevitable return to the floor, he picked up right where he left off, knocking in a transition three. A couple of possessions later, a calculated bank shot to bring his first half total to a game-high 21.
New York responded with some signs of life in the second quarter, posting 27 points as veteran scorer Carmelo Anthony led the way with 13 first half points on 5-of-10 shooting. Outside of Anthony, Knicks starters amassed just 10 total points on a woeful 5-of-27 shooting performance. Much of that was due to the defense Draymond was playing against Anthony and Porzingis.
“He’s just a fantastic player. I was talking about how smart Andre is, and Shaun, and you can throw Draymond right into the mix. He sees the game and he knows what is happening at all times.”
Seven minutes into the third quarter, with the score already lopsided at 74-48, Curry sailed Harrison Barnes a long-range pass that has become routine for the 2016 Warriors. Even as Barnes stumbled — and with a prowling Derrick Williams to deal with — Barnes finished acrobatically, falling to the floor as the shot bounced in.
The Warriors put on a scoring clinic during the next five minutes, going 6-for-8 from the field to build the lead to 27. With one minute left in the frame, Curry fired a turning, fading three that banked its way home. The very next play he stroked from long range again, sending Oracle into raptures.
Golden State unsurprisingly let the bench finish off the fourth quarter. Highlighting the quarter was another promising performance from youngster James McAdoo (7 points, 3-for-4), including his first career three-pointer.
Bogut, after hitting a surprising three of his own the previous game, was unimpressed:
“Doesn’t count. It was a corner three. It was shorter, mine was a long one.”
With Wednesday night’s victory, the Warriors finished off a perfect six-game home stand and will start their next road trip in Dallas Mavericks (34-34) Friday.