There haven’t been many brilliant moments for the Knicks against Stephen Curry since the Warriors designed it.
But this one became one of them on a Thursday night in San Francisco as the Tom Thibodeau Knicks Train through California rolled and regained a 500 record.
The stars of the night were RJ Barrett, with his 28 career highs, and Julius Randle, who scored nearly triple double. Not curry.
« It’s a typical Thibs team, » said Warriors coach Steve Kerr earlier. « Defend like crazy. You are building a foundation. «
The Knicks continued to build a winning streak that now lasts three games after closing Curry in the second half and beating the Warriors wire-to-wire with a heady 119-104 win.
» I don’t think we see ourselves as underdogs, « said Randle. » We see ourselves as a good team. We have pretty good team confidence. «
After searching the new Warriors’ digs in San Francisco, Thibodeau paid homage Golden State and downplayed his team’s 8-8 mark.
Before starting this four-game western journey, Thibodeau said stats showing the Knicks as the best defensive team in the league weren’t important. The Knicks coach said he only cared about wins and now his team has three direct triumphs to hang on the trophy wall. « We have a lot to do, » said Thibodeau. « We can’t feel good. There are things that we did well. We got some good wins. We also had games that we could have played a lot better in. We have to be honest with ourselves and know that There’s still a lot to be done, but we’re improving and doing a lot better. «
Curry has pursued the Knicks franchise forever. The Warriors megastar was just one slot away from slipping to the eighth election in 2009, where the Knicks waited with open arms.
All those years later, the Knicks and their defenses finally found a night to beat Curry In the first eight minutes of play, Knicks point guard Elfrid Payton held Curry goalless. Curry got hot, scored 20 points at half time, then went cold in the second half. He padded his stats in the fourth quarter garbage time to get 30 points but only shot 5 out of 14 out of 3. « A guy like Curry, it’s impossible to watch with a man, » Thibodeau said . “I thought Elfrid did as good a job as you can. You try to get him to work as hard as possible for everything. «
Towards the end of the third quarter, Curry coughed the ball and Randle, who scored 16 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists, picked it up and started a fast break that Barrett finished by 12 points.
Barrett likes streaky, but he’s on his most colorful run of his career, beating the warriors with relentless urges and even beating off the 3-point line for 2 out of 3 marks.
« He’s playing a great all-round game – he has one good mix of scoring and passing, « said Thibodeau.
Barrett’s Fastbreak bucket came from Curry’s fourth sale – and that was the game. The Warriors scored 17 points in the third quarter and ended up with 89-76 points back.
In the fourth quarter, Curry was sitting on the bench, shaking his head, either wanting to get back into the game on the second night of a duel, or he couldn’t believe that his team lost this hard against the Knicks.
The warriors have the highest The league’s thest payroll, the Knicks the lowest – $ 18 million below the salary cap. But the league’s growing defensive juggernaut continued to crunch and got stronger in the center thanks to the tandem of Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel (four blocks).
The Knicks also got help from the referees. Draymond Green picked up an early technical – rightly – but a second towards the end of the first half that resulted in his disqualification was a referee’s error. Green yelled at a teammate, not the officers. Heck, the Knicks get the breaks.
Maybe they’ll be high-fliers by 8-8, but their long-suffering patrons watch this robust team on TV. The Post learned that the MSG Network Knicks was up 26 percent from last season.
It could be seen that before the contest, Kerr was concerned that the Warriors might take the Knicks easily. He said he was concerned about the « energetic and emotional » state of his team in the second leg of a tackle and they would have to rely on « basics ».
For the third game in a row, the Knicks had the energy and another win to as the Thibodeau train chugged. Next stop: Sacramento.
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