new york knicks stephen curry
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

There was too much Stephen Curry for the New York Knicks to handle, but it was still a successful night at Madison Square Garden.

Danny Small

  • New York Knicks 106 (15-17)
  • Golden State Warriors 114 (17-15)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Despite the good feelings that kicked off Tuesday night’s actions in Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks fell to the Golden State Warriors. Fans can take solace knowing that Julius Randle is heading to the All-Star Game, but Stephen Curry put a damper on a festive night.

Here are three highlights and three observations from New York’s 106-114 loss to Golden State.

Highlight 1: Fans Are Back

Highlight 2: Congratulations Julius Randle

Highlight 3: Stephen Curry Does It Again

Observation 1: Great Night At Madison Square Garden

Even though the game didn’t go the Knicks’ way, the first game with fans in the arena since March of 2020 was a resounding success. The limited crowd still managed to make their presence known.

The return of the fans combined with the Randle All-Star nod made for an electric night at MSG.

“It all came to fruition,” Randle said in his postgame Zoom call. “It was amazing, honestly. Everything that I signed up for and goals that I wrote down when I decided I want to come here and play for the Knicks, it’s all happening. It was definitely an amazing moment, a lot of emotion for me and for my family. It was definitely special for sure.”

Observation 2: Stephen Curry Is Just Too Good

Let’s turn our attention to the game. Stephen Curry is still that dude. The two-time MVP went for 37 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the victory, shooting 7-for-14 from deep and 12-for-12 from the free-throw line. The Knicks could not keep Curry down and they failed to muster up the offense to go shot for shot with him down the stretch.

They tried hedging out high on Curry on handoffs and pick-and-rolls to discourage him from taking threes, but he was still able to light it up from distance. When the center would come out too far, Curry would blow by him and find a teammate. If the help defender wasn’t aggressive enough, he would launch it off the dribble.

“[Curry’s] shooting sets up a lot of their offense and Draymond [Green] in terms of making decisions so it stretches you out pretty good,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau explained. “And then, he’s a great shot maker, doesn’t take him much room to get a shot off, and he never stops moving.”

Golden State’s offense revolves around Curry, but as Thibodeau notes, Draymond Green is the facilitator who helps make it all work. In typical Draymond fashion, he put up a stat line of seven points, nine rebounds, 12 assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Observation 3: RJ Barrett Struggles

Julius Randle is the clear No. 1 on the Knicks. We didn’t need an All-Star announcement to tell us that. The better question is who is New York’s second banana? Thibs was asked this question in his postgame Zoom call, but he skirted around naming anyone specifically.

It wasn’t RJ Barrett on Tuesday night. He was 1-for-9 from the field and it was obvious that he was forcing. Young players are going to go through ups and downs. That’s par for the course in the NBA.

On plenty of nights this year, Barrett has stepped up to the plate. In fact, he was instrumental in the clutch victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, tallying 21 points. The Knicks will need more consistency from him for the playoff push.