A gutsy comeback was once again not enough for the scrappy Warriors as they fell, 123-119, to the lowly Knicks in overtime at the Chase Center Wednesday.
After battling back from a 22-point deficit, D’Angelo Russell sent the Warriors into overtime at 112-112 with a dagger corner three with 5.5 seconds remaining.
Russell said he just tried to create space on the game-tying shot:
“I feel like if I dribbled I would be helping him guard me. He’s lengthy, but I don’t know man just trying to be as crafty as I can and get a shot up. Simple as that.”
A missed free throw from rookie R.J. Barrett kept the game at one possession, giving the Warriors one last opportunity.
Russell charged the way for Golden State with 32 points and Draymond Green‘s near triple-double (14 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists).
At the end of the first quarter, New York led Golden State 30-20, mainly due poor defense from the home squad. The Warriors allowed Julius Randle and Marcus Morris Sr. to eight points each in the first frame.
The Knicks frontcourt got to the paint at will and punished the smaller Warriors. Green knows how hard Morris and Randle were hard to stop:
“They really out-rebounded us. It started the first quarter and that sets the tone and they got to the paint every play. That’s tough to overcome.”
Morris Sr. finished with the game with 36 points and Randle finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds.
The Dubs shot 25 percent on threes and 33 percent overall, and did not have the lead at all. What use to be their bread and butter, Golden State is the second-worst three-point shooting percentage at 33 percent.
The Knicks continued to pour it on as they dumped 38 on the Warriors to lead 68-50 at halftime. New York had four double-figure scorers.
Morris (18 points), Randle (16), Bobby Portis (11) and Barrett (16) dropped 30 straight points for the Knicks before the end of the half.
The only offense the Warriors could get going was Russell, who had a team high 15 points, but it was done on a quiet 5-13 shooting.
Chriss provided the team with energy and productive minutes. It is something Green encourages:
“‘[Marquese] really brought a lot of energy tonight. He’s flying around the floor, coming up with lose balls and had some great finishes. He played well.”
Paschall’s hip did tighten up and the Warriors kept him out for precautionary reasons, according to Head Coach Steve Kerr. Paschall was limited to 17 minutes and finished with five points.
The Knicks, who took care of ball in the first half, turned the ball over 10 times in the third quarter, which allowed the Warriors to scratch and crawl their way back into the game.
After being down by 18 and as much as 22 in the first half, the Warriors found themselves down 87-80 and outscored the Knicks 30-19 in the third quarter.
The Warriors had a lot of active hands which led to steals. The steals pushed the pace and led to easy buckets. But Green says it’s not always pushing the ball up the court:
“[We] definitely want to push the pace but for us, it’s about finding a balance and understanding when we need to slow it down and when we need to put a shot up. … That falls on myself and [Russell] … we’re not as talented as most teams. We’re so young.”
The defensive aggression by the Warriors was rewarded with nine free-throw attempts in the third quarter, though they left four free points on the table.
According to Head Coach Steve Kerr, the difference between the halves was simple:
“We had a lot more energy and determination in the second half. I thought the first half we got behind and hung our heads a little bit and in the second half we fought. We fought like crazy and we got back in the game and couldn’t quite pull it off.”
After being down by 22, Alec Burks gave the Warriors a 91-89 lead with a 12-foot floater with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the game. The Warriors first lead of the game.
The Knicks responded with a quick 10-0 run including back-to-back three-pointers from Morris Sr. and Barrett.
The Warriors came into the game with the second-worst record this season (5-21). The only team with a worse record? The New York Knicks (4-20).
Though their records are similar, these franchises could not be more different. Golden State at least can say they have a future. Stephen Curry is out until at least February, and Klay Thompson is most likely out for this year.
They have young promising talent, a championship level coach and good management. With a healthy squad next year and with a projected lottery pick, the Warriors have something to look forward to.
The Knicks fired Head Coach Dave Fizdale on Dec. 6 after an 8-game losing streak and named assistant coach Mike Miller interim head coach, who has lost two more in a row. Miller is the 13th coach since owner James Dolan has taken over in the 1999-2000 season.
But for Green it doesn’t matter who the Warriors play if they didn’t win:
“A loss is a loss. It doesn’t matter who it’s against. Loss.”
The Warriors now hold the worst record in the NBA.
The Warriors face up-the-road division rivals the Sacramento Kings on Sunday at Chase Center.