OAKLAND – After spending much of the first half in a lethargic state, the Warriors woke up Tuesday night and slapped the Knicks off the Oracle Arena floor.
With Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant combining for 67 points, the Warriors rolled to a 122-95 victory that ended their home losing streak at three.
The Warriors (27-14) are halfway through the season, with exactly half as many wins as they posted last season.
The Knicks (10-31) fell to the Warriors for the ninth consecutive time and have lost 10 of their last 11 games.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Hot Klay: Thompson lit up the arena, scoring 43 points in 34 minutes, on 18-of-29 shooting, including 7-of-16 from deep. It was the second time this season he has topped 40 points and the 12th time in his career.
Scoring 14 of his points in seven fourth-quarter minutes, Thompson pretty much shoveled dirt onto the Knicks.
After slumping for most of the first 35 games, Thompson recently has found his rhythm, shooting 55.1 percent over his last five games, including 51.3 percent from beyond the arc.
His recovering is timely insofar as voting for the All-Star Game is heating up and Thompson is making a bid to shoot his way onto the squad.
Death Lineup lives up to its name: The Warriors lollygagged through much the first half and when the Knicks went up 49-48 with 3:02 left in the second quarter, coach Steve Kerr had seen enough and called a timeout.
The Warriors returned to the floor with a vengeance. The Death Lineup – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Durant and Thompson – turned up the defense and closed the half on a 13-0 run, taking a 61-49 lead into the locker room.
New York’s possessions during that stretch: Emmanuel Mudiay turnover, Noah Vonleh miss, Allonzo Trier turnover, Mudiay miss.
That strong finish to the half carried over into the second half, as the Warriors expanded the lead to 21 five minutes into the third quarter, pushing it as high as 27.
Curry dropping dimes: Curry entered the game as the team’s No. 3 assist man, averaging 5.2 per game, behind Green (6.7) and Durant (6.2). The 10th-year point guard gained some ground on his teammates.
Curry recorded a season-high 14 assists in 32 minutes. Some were of the basic fundamental variety, but a couple stood out as highlight material.
The first beauty came in the opening quarter, with Curry leading the break before whirling and firing a semi-no-look to a trailing Kevon Looney for the dunk.
The second came in the third quarter, with Curry putting on a dribbling exhibition behind the 3-point line, rocking the Knicks to sleep and firing a pass to Looney, alone under the basket. Another dunk.
Curry may have realized his shot was off (14 points, 5-of-19 from the field, 3-of-12) from deep) and decided to play distributor. Whatever. It worked. It was like old times.