What we learned in Warriors' sloppy finish, win vs. Knicks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Though it’s too late for the Warriors to post a winning record on this four-game road trip, they avoided the ignominy of going winless thanks to Tuesday's 114-106 win over the New York Knicks.
Though they threatened to blow a third consecutive fourth-quarter lead, allowing the Knicks (15-17) to pull into a 97-97 tie with 3:50 left, the Warriors gathered themselves and hung on for a victory at Madison Square Garden.
Four Warriors scored in double figures, led by 37 points from Stephen Curry. Kelly Oubre Jr. finished with 19 and Andrew Wiggins totaled 16.
Draymond Green, making amends for his poor finish Saturday, contributed seven points, 12 assists, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Here are three takeaways from a win that moved Golden State’s record to 17-15.
Curry appears to be just fine
We don’t know how much better Curry felt two days after he was a late scratch due to illness, but he was fit enough to produce typical numbers against a solid defensive team.
Curry’s 37 points came on 9-of-22 shooting from the field, including 7-of-14 from distance, and 12-of-12 from the line. He was plus-19 over 37 minutes.
Though it was team defense that keyed a third-quarter in which the Warriors outscored New York 39-26, turning a four-point halftime deficit in a 94-85 lead entering the fourth, Curry carried the offense with 15 points in the quarter.
In the fourth, when the Warriors struggled mightily to find a bucket and scored only 20 points, Curry accounted for 11. He also made a crucial assist, feeding Oubre for a dunk that gave the Warriors a six-point lead with 30.8 seconds remaining.
Return of Wiseman
After an 11-game absence due to a sprained wrist, rookie center James Wiseman was back in action. How did he do? He did some good things, did a few more bad things.
Wiseman’s highlight was a surprisingly adept -- considering his 7-foot-1 height -- desperation pirouette in transition that led to a nice layup. He was for the most part efficient, though, finishing with 14 points (6-of-9 shooting) and two rebounds in 16 minutes.
But he botched a pass from Curry that should have given him a dunk. Moreover, he had a couple early black-hole moments, gathering passes and failing to consider the possibility of moving the ball, much less actually doing it. With the talent around him, he need not force contesting shots with time on the clock. On a night when the Warriors recorded 30 assists, he pitched in with one.
Wiseman’s second-half improvement suggests his early woes were a matter of timing, rust and eagerness.
Kerr forced into rotation changes
With the return of Kevon Looney and Wiseman, coach Steve Kerr had to make some tough choices in trimming his rotation.
The toughest of all undoubtedly was pulling Juan Toscano-Anderson out of the lineup -- he started the last 10 games -- and sending the versatile forward to a seat so far down the bench he never entered the game.
Toscano-Anderson played fairly well under the conditions and he’s one of Kerr’s favorites. But he’s still on a two-way deal, which makes him a logical sit when things get tight.
Guard Mychal Mulder, who averaged about 14 minutes over the last 10 games, joined JTA on the bench.
These rotation changes should not be considered permanent, as Kerr sometimes makes changes based on matchups.