The New York Knicks would need to beat Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors to get back to .500 as fans returned to MSG.
On Tuesday, the Knicks played host. Steph Curry & Friends turned in Haight/Ashbury for 8th Avenue, mission burritos for a $1 slice of pizza, the White Album for Enter the Wu Tang. They wanted a revenge win, and only the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden would do.
But on New York’s end, the night was a cause for celebration. Win or lose, Julius Randle was an All-Star reserve. More importantly, Tuesday marked the first night fans were allowed back in attendance at MSG. Not only did the Knicks have home-court advantage, but they had every reason to have a great game.
Would the Knicks win and celebrate under the Broadway lights, or would the Warriors leave them colder than a December night at Fisherman’s Wharf?
1st quarter: Old vs. New
The first quarter being a case of old vs. new can be explained simply. The Golden State Warriors have embraced the NBA’s new fast pace and let the threes fly, whereas the New York Knicks are a bit more old school.
For context, the Warriors attempted 11 shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter. The Knicks, on the other hand, only attempted six.
Even so, both teams played well and the Warriors only led 36-31 after one, with Curry’s eight points leading the way. New York kept it close thanks to an 8-0 run and saw 10 points from Elfrid Payton.
It was clear early on. Steph wasn’t going to make this easy.
Halftime report: Rose Garden
The New York Knicks did exactly what they needed to do in the second quarter: play tight defense and take smart shots. New York led 59-55 at the half and just looked more organized on offense in the second quarter.
The Knicks’ bench played significant minutes in the second, meaning Derrick Rose was the star of the Garden. He had nine points and four assists in the second and had 12 points and six dimes in 12 minutes at halftime.
The Knicks outscored the Warriors 29-18 in the second. Now, the rest of the team just had to match Rose’s pace.
3rd quarter: Spicy Curry
The New York Knicks wasted their lead at halftime and looked completely flat until the last few minutes of the third quarter. The team was outscored 39-26 as Steph Curry took complete control.
The former MVP scored 15 points and made some shots that were just unfair. Golden State led 94-85 after three. Were it not for Julius Randle scoring 12 points in the frame, the Knicks would have trailed by much more.
4th quarter: Photo finish
The New York Knicks did all they could in the fourth, trailing by as little as one point with just over two minutes remaining. The team also did a good job of defending Curry, who had just seven points in the quarter.
Unfortunately, too many mistakes and missed shots caught up with the Knicks, who shot just 39.6% from the field. Sweeping the season series did not happen as the Warriors avenged their loss last month in a 114-106 win.
Needless to say, this is not the homecoming the fans envisioned.
Player of the game: Julius Randle
As always, the New York Knicks at least received another All-Star performance from their new All-Star player.