Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry etched his name in history in Tuesday's 105-96 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, becoming the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers made.
Curry, who entered the game two triples away from breaking Ray Allen's record of 2,973, finished with 22 points and shot 5-of-14 from beyond the arc, upping his career total to 2,977.
The Warriors improved to 23-5 after their fourth win in their last five games. Jordan Poole added 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Knicks fell to 12-16 and have now lost five straight games at home. Julius Randle led New York with 31 points and seven rebounds. The Knicks were without key rotation players RJ Barrett and Obi Toppin, who are both in the NBA's health and safety protocols.
Notable Player Stats
G Stephen Curry, GSW: 22 points
G Jordan Poole, GSW: 19 points, 9 rebounds
F Andrew Wiggins, GSW: 18 points
F Julius Randle, NYK: 31 points, 7 rebounds
Warriors Overcome Emotion, Ugly Shooting to Earn Victory
Golden State was uncharacteristically off throughout the majority of Tuesday's game. The emotion of Curry breaking the three-point record may have caused an adrenaline dump for the Warriors, as they weren't as efficient as we've grown accustomed to seeing.
But it seemed like an inevitability that Golden State would eventually wake up and put the game away, and that happened in the third quarter. After an ugly stretch that saw both teams struggle to make shots, the Warriors were able to get back on track by scoring in transition.
The Warriors ended the third quarter on a 15-5 run to take a seven-point lead heading into the fourth, and they never looked back. New York was unable to take a lead in the final frame.
Golden State's supporting cast helped put the game away in the fourth quarter. Poole finished 13-of-13 from the free-throw line. Andrew Wiggins had 18 points and came up with timely shots to help secure the win. Nemanja Bjelica added 14 off the bench on 4-of-4 three-point shooting. Even Damion Lee got in on the action and ended his shooting slump.
The Warriors were able to use their defense and a late offensive burst to overcome a 35-of-77 (45.5 percent) shooting night. They also finished 15-of-40 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc. It wasn't pretty, but Golden State showed its ability to grind out wins even when its offense isn't clicking.
Knicks Fail to Take Advantage of Warriors' Slow Start
Making the game ugly could have been exactly what a short-handed Knicks team needed to do to steal a win. But New York couldn't take advantage of an off night by one of the best offenses in the league.
After shooting 45.5 percent from the floor in the first quarter, the Knicks made just six of their 18 field goals in the second quarter. Golden State wasn't much better, shooting 40.5 percent in the first half as the Knicks took a one-point lead into halftime. Derrick Rose was a lone early bright spot, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the first half.
Both teams struggled to start the third quarter but eventually woke up. Randle did his best to spark New York with 25 of his 31 points in the second half.
In last year's surprisingly successful season, the Knicks were known for being able to use their gritty offense and defense to grind out wins. That hasn't been the case this year, as New York just lacks the offensive firepower to keep up with most of the top teams in the league. The Knicks shot 30-of-83 for a shooting percentage of 36.1.
When the Knicks watch film of Tuesday's game, they will be kicking themselves for letting the Warriors off the hook. New York had the chance to upset a title contender, but it was let down by struggles on offense that have plagued the team throughout this season.
The Warriors will play the fourth contest of a five-game road trip on Friday against the Boston Celtics. The Knicks will look to bounce back on Thursday in a road matchup against the Houston Rockets.