10:30 PM ET, March 11, 2013
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA
OAKLAND, Calif. -- By the time Mark Jackson walked off the floor and into the Golden State Warriors' locker room late Monday night, the coach already had a text message from his mother, Marie, who watched her son's win against the Knicks on national television from the family's New York home.
"Way to get them back," she wrote.
From the Bay Area to the Big Apple, Jackson's new team sure sent a message.
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It was the best defensive performance for the franchise since the Philadelphia Warriors beat the Milwaukee Hawks 69-63 on Dec. 28, 1953.
"That's a heck of a defensive night," Jackson said. "It takes a combination of great defense and, at times, bad offense. I wish we could take all the credit."
Almost two weeks after his 54-point masterpiece at Madison Square Garden, Curry shared the spotlight with his co-captain in front of a sellout crowd announced at 19,596. He was 4-for-7 from 3-point range, while Lee finished with 10 rebounds and eight assists after helping the Warriors go ahead by 27 points in the third quarter.
"It didn't matter how we won. We just needed a win," Curry said after Golden State snapped a two-game skid. "This was an important win for us. I'm glad we got the win, especially with the way it ended last time in New York."
Carmelo Anthony had 14 points and 10 rebounds after missing New York's previous three games because of a nagging right knee, and J.R. Smith scored nine points before he was ejected in the third quarter for a flagrant foul. Anthony was 4-for-15 from the floor as the Knicks shot 27 percent in the opener of a five-game West Coast trip.
It was the lowest scoring output for the Knicks this season. It also was the lowest shooting percentage of the season for any NBA team, according to the Warriors.
"This is definitely not the way you want to start a road trip," said Knicks center Tyson Chandler, who had four points and eight rebounds.
New York withstood Curry's career high in points in that memorable 109-105 win over the Warriors on Feb. 27. Curry received some help for the rematch -- from a familiar Knicks face.
Lee served a one-game suspension during that game in New York for his role in a scrum against Indiana and also missed Saturday's loss against Milwaukee because of a bruised right knee. He wore a white wrap around the knee against his former team but showed no major limitations.
Curry made his first three 3-pointers and had 11 points in the first 6:14 of the game. He helped the Warriors take a 23-14 lead that incensed Knicks coach Mike Woodson.
"Our pace was way out in left field somewhere," Woodson said.
After scoring only four points in the first quarter of his 54-point performance, Curry appeared on his way to another big night. New York briefly began trapping Curry off pick-and-rolls, and everybody from Anthony to Chandler chased the diminutive guard all over the perimeter.
Curry still confused the Knicks more often than not, getting them to switch or go underneath screens for no apparent reason. He missed his last two shots in the quarter before coming on strong again in the second, hitting a pull-up 3 over Raymond Felton and finding Klay Thompson for another 3 during a 23-7 run that put the Warriors ahead 49-32.
Curry, Thompson (23 points) and Lee outscored New York by themselves. And Curry and Thompson had almost as many made field goals (nine apiece) as the Knicks had as a team (20).
"We just needed a win, period," Lee said. "Not because we'd lost two in a row, just because at this point, every game becomes really important."
New York struggled in large part because its leading scorer did, too.
Anthony opened the game 2-of-10 from the floor and showed little of his usual burst or bruising style. He also took several contested or difficult jumpers, especially once the Warriors took control.
Anthony said his knee is not causing pain, just "irritation."
"I didn't really know how it was going to respond," he said. "It was just nagging, just agitating at this point. The stiffness is still back there, so it's just a matter of time and seeing what happens over time."
With Curry commanding so much of the attention, Lee led the way in the third quarter. He had a putback layup and a fast-break dunk during a 17-3 spurt that put the game away.
Smith, who started the second half, capped Golden State's run with a flagrant-2 foul for coming down hard with two hands on Harrison Barnes' layup attempt, swiping the rookie's head. Barnes made 1 of 2 free throws, and Thompson hit another jumper that gave Golden State a 67-40 lead.
Smith protested the video review by lead official Joe Crawford, then jogged off the court as Warriors fans peppered him with jeers. A few minutes later, Woodson pulled Anthony out, though he returned for a few minutes midway through the fourth with New York down 20.
Golden State's most lopsided win of the season was a 115-93 victory at Atlanta on Dec. 15. ... The Knicks announced that Amare Stoudemire had surgery on his right knee. He's expected to miss six weeks. ... Knicks reserve F Rasheed Wallace traveled with the team and will do his rehabilitation on the road. Wallace walked around the arena on crutches. Woodson said Wallace is still trying to return in the playoffs.
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 11: New York Knicks commentator Walt Frazier before the game against the Golden State Warriors...(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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MVP: With apologies to David Lee and Klay Thompson, no player's impact was bigger in the Warriors' win than Steph Curry's. He scored 11 quick points to put his team ahead early, and consistently pressured New York's defense from just inside half court, finishing with 26 points and six 3-pointers.
X factor: New York shot a NBA season-low 27.4 percent from the field in this one, connecting on a pathetic 20-of-73 shot attempts. With Curry and Thompson bombing away from deep early and often, the Knicks needed a solid offensive effort to keep pace; instead, theirs was the polar opposite.
That was ... much needed. The Warriors came into this one reeling, having lost two straight games and five of their past seventeen. With their hold on a playoff spot weaker than ever, this resounding win -- rightly or wrongly -- will help to calm a growing sense of panic in the Bay Area.
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