The Warriors were due for a vintage blowout win given the troubles they’ve experienced recently, including losing three straight on their home court.
But more importantly, Klay Thompson was due after the awful start to his season.
Both happened Tuesday as the Warriors (27-14) stomped the Knicks (10-31), 122-95, and Thompson erupted for 43 points at Oracle Arena.
Thompson said that feeling isn’t something he ever gets tired of:
“It’s the best feeling on a basketball court, especially when you know your team is going to win. It doesn’t happen very often so when you do enter that, you just try to get great looks every time down the floor.”
It must feel even better for him since he has been mired in a season-long shooting slump, and finally looks to have turned a corner. Over his last five games he is shooting 55 percent from the field and 51 percent from deep, averaging 27 points.
He shot 7-of-16 from 3 Tuesday, and abused the oblivious New York defense.
Thompson said once his first few shots fell, he could feel he was in a rhythm:
“You get a few easy looks early, hit a couple at the rim, you’re already in a good rhythm mid first quarter. I feel like I should have had 10 3’s but you never let missed shots effect you, just keep being aggressive. Unfortunately I didn’t have very many assists but it happens.”
Thompson actually didn’t have any assists, but the slack in that category was picked up by his other all-stars.
Draymond Green also double-doubled, but without points as he totaled 11 boards and 10 assists.
From a talent perspective, the final score is not at all surprising, but the Knicks kept the game interesting for at least half the game.
Golden State got whatever they wanted offensively. The only problem is, whenever they can do anything they want, that’s when they start to do things they shouldn’t.
Namely, overpass the ball, specifically on crosscourt passes into the corner. Durant committed four of his six turnovers in the first half, exclusively on passes to the corner, with each one being intercepted with more and more ease.
The Warriors shot just 31 percent from 3 as a team, but that would be enough against a team that doesn’t have the desire or ability to stop anyone.
A 13-0 run by the “Hamptons Five” to close the half pushed the lead to 12 and that type of point differential is insurmountable for this New York team.
The talent divide looked more and more apparent as the game wore on especially on offense, as the Warriors defense easily shutdown any and all options.
Durant said their individual defense was the difference-maker in this game and in the future:
“We guarded our man individually, that’s what it’s going to come down to in the playoffs is one-on-one defense. And tonight I thought tonight we did a good job of just making every catch tough and every finish tough.”
The Knicks connected on just 28 field goals for 77 points before a flurry in garbage time made that a much more reasonable 95.
It was an easy night on the court for the Warriors, although it’s been a rarity during this tumultuous season. But it’s exactly what this team needed.
Curry said that even Thompson joked about it after the game:
“When we walked off the court, Klay was feeling good obviously with the way he played and he was like, ‘when’s the last time we blew somebody out? 2016?'”
The Warriors return to the court Friday when the Chicago Bulls make their only visit to Oracle. The Bulls have been a mess all year and sit with just 10 wins on the season.
The Warriors announced that DeMarcus Cousins is targeting January 18 against the Los Angeles Clippers to make his season debut. Cousins has been a full participant in practice for the around a week now, although he will almost assuredly have a highly regulated minutes restriction for the foreseeable future. … With Curry’s three 3-pointers Tuesday he moved within two 3’s of Jason Terry for third on the NBA’s all-time 3’s list. He’s passed Kyle Korver for fourth after he hit 10 3’s Saturday against the Kings.