Warriors drop Knicks to 1-9 with 121-107 rout
November 14, 2009
NEW YORK – Stephen Jackson still wants to be traded, though perhaps seeing the Knicks up close should make him scratch them off his list of preferred destinations.
Because if he wants to win a championship, he needs to look in other directions.
Jackson scored 23 points, three other players had 22, and the Golden State Warriors sent the Knicks to the worst 10-game start in franchise history with a 121-107 victory Friday night.
Golden State is open to trading Jackson, but it’s highly unlikely the Knicks would take on his salary and cripple their free agency plans. So it’s possible this was his only trip to New York this season.
“This is one of the best places to play,” Jackson said. “If somebody says it’s not, they’re lying. Everybody wants to say they played in the Garden. Everybody gets up to play here and I’m no different than anybody else.”
Monta Ellis, Kelenna Azubuike and Corey Maggette all had 22 for the Warriors, who easily improved to 1-1 on a five-game Eastern Conference road trip by shooting 58 percent from the field. Reserve C.J. Watson finished with 19.
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Danilo Gallinari had 19 points and 10 rebounds in his first career double-double for the Knicks, who dropped their sixth straight and fell to 1-9. David Lee scored 17 points and former Warriors forward Al Harrington had 16.
“I just thought our lack of fight was the most disappointing thing,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “It’s bad, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve got three days off, we’ll practice hard and we’ll try to figure out something better and see who wants to come forward.”
A high-scoring affair was expected after they split two meetings last season, with New York winning 138-125 at home and the Warriors cruising to a 144-127 victory in California. Neither team was that sharp Friday, but Golden State was good enough to lead comfortably most of the game.
“The game was two teams that actually matched up pretty well against each other, played the same style,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “Probably the team that was going to shoot the basketball was going to win and that was us.”
It was a rare easy night in a season of headaches for the Warriors, whom Nelson called a “very difficult team to coach so far” Friday morning. The turmoil began when Jackson said during the summer he wanted to be traded, naming the Knicks as one team of interest because of his relationship with Harrington.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh had Jackson in Indiana and likes him, but Jackson has too much money and years left for a team that refuses to part with its salary cap space for next summer.
In the meantime, the players here now haven’t been competitive.
Jackson and Ellis each scored 10 points in the first quarter, and Golden State shot 64 percent in opening a 32-26 lead. The Warriors found little to no resistance on their drives to the hoop throughout the first half, leading by as much as 16 and building a 66-52 cushion at the break.
“We knew there was no shot blockers in there,” Ellis said. “Our game plan was to attack the basket, move the ball two times and we would have open shots, and that’s what we did.”
The Knicks helped out by committing 13 turnovers that led to 23 points in the first half, with rookie Toney Douglas firing a pass over celebrity row on one possession.
“This is not who we want to be. They played harder than us,” Douglas said. “They didn’t change nothing. Any team that plays harder at the end of the day will come out with the win. I don’t think we played hard enough.”
Searching for any combinations that would work, D’Antoni started seldom-used rookie Jordan Hill in the third quarter, then later went deep into his bench to give Darko Milicic a shot. The Knicks defended in the period, holding the Warriors to 7-of-21 shooting and pulling to 86-80 heading to the fourth.
Golden State then hit its first four shots, including 3-pointers by Anthony Morrow, Watson and Jackson, to push the lead back to 13 less than 2 minutes into the fourth and it was never close again.
Nate Robinson returned after missing six games with a sprained right ankle.
NOTES: Stephen Curry, who started his first six games before coming off the bench in the last one, didn’t get in until there was 1:05 left in the first half. Nelson joked that Curry, taken with the No. 7 pick, one before the Knicks would have picked him, wasn’t a starter because he didn’t have any tattoos. … One game after scoring a season-high 23 points in his first start, Douglas was a reserve again after feeling ill Thursday. … A delegation from the Afghan women’s national youth development team attended the game. They also are scheduled to go to Washington and attend a Wizards game.