Knicks 125, Warriors 119 - Raymond Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire Go For 61 Points, Missing Only 6 Shots Combined

The Warriors face the Knicks once again, but this time without David Lee. Rinse and Recycle: Will the Warriors amass another giant lead only to win it in the final seconds? Check back for more updates. Also, check out the Golden State of Mind game thread for more chatter about tonight's game.

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Knicks 125, Warriors 119 - Golden State of Mind Linkage + The Andris Biedrins Effect

Last night’s heartbreaker, not of the Mariah Carey variety, is captured by Golden State of Mind’s IQofaWarrior’s post-game linkage. A tough loss in a game the Warriors clearly could have won and the Warriors seem to know it by the way they talked about it (Warriors.com via Golden State of Mind Linkage):

Dorell Wright On Playing Better In The Second Half:
"We had a sense of urgency. We were playing well. Reggie (Williams) came in big for us and hit some big shots. Steph (Curry) hit some big shots and things like that. We were getting stops but at the end we were trading baskets. In key moments in the game when we needed to get stops we were trading baskets and we will never win like that. We know we’re a good second-half team but it starts in the first quarter. Guys have to come in ready, play with some toughness and put our nose on the ball. I think they won every 50/50 ball. We just have to get a little more aggressive and get to the free-throw line."

Height (and skill) clearly hurt the Warriors and it could be seen in the stat-line for those that weren’t watching the game. Andris Biedrins had the best +/- at +8. Although limited by fouls, Biedrins had 5 offensive rebounds alone. His backups in Dan Gadzuric and Jeff Adrien, combined, played 27 minutes but only grabbed 4 rebounds. They’re +/- were -9 and -10, respectively.

I’m not blaming them for this loss. Adrien is a rookie who is still learning what it means to play at the professional level and that means having nights like this after having a night where he played 16 minutes and had a +/- of +16. But Adrien mishandled a beautiful pass from Monta Ellis that could have been an easy dunk, which he should have slammed home no question.

But besides rebounding abilities, Biedrins shot an efficient 4-5 from the field, showing patience with his post moves. On several occasions, Biedrins caught the ball on the block, backed up Amar’e and spun to the baseline throwing up a soft baby hook. This is much improved over the last few games with Biedrins posting up on the right block, spinning into traffic, only to get blocked by two defenders. Granted, Ama’re isn’t a great defender at all. But these small steps in Biedrins offensive comfortability is huge.

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NBA Scores and Standings: Mapping the Western Conference - November 19, 2010

Recap of Friday’s Western Conference Games:

Memphis 86 @ Washington 89. Despite shooting an atrocious .378 from the field, the Wizards escaped with a three point victory over the sliding Grizzlies, who have now lost 5 in a row. Gilbert Arenas (7-for-15, 24 pts) and Kirk Hinrich (6-for-12, 22 pts) shot decently enough for the Wizards, but the rest of the team combined for 15-for-47 (.319) shooting, including twin 1-for-8 outings from Al Thornton and Nick Young. I guess the Grizzliers were just that bad tonight. Zach Randolph (19 points) led the way for Memphis, who hasn’t won in 12 days.

Oklahoma City 89 @ Boston 84. The Thunder rolled on, defeating the Celtics in Boston and doing so without two of their three best players. Despite free throw coach/world beater Kevin Durant nursing a twisted ankle and third-leading scorer Jeff Green out with a sprained ankle of his own, the Thunder managed to hand the Celtics their first home loss of the season. This game went dead in the water in the fourth as OKC managed just 12 points in the final frame, while Boston fared barely better with 15 points. Russell Westbrook paced the Thunder with 31 points, although he posted a less-than-stellar 6 assists against 7 turnovers. KG led the Celts with 16 points, including 10-for-10 FTs.

Houston 96 @ Toronto 106. Six Raptors scored in double figures as the Raptors extended the Rockets’ losing streak to three games. Andrea Bargnani had a team-high 26, while Kevin Martin led the Rockets with 31 points, including 11-for-11 FTs. Kyle Lowry had a solid night with 11 points, 12 assists, and 7 boards.

Cleveland 101 @ New Orleans 108. The Hornets are gearing up for another winning streak. David West beasted his way to 34 points on 14-of-20 shooting and added 11 boards and 3 blocks. The Cavs got a pretty anemic effort from their starters, as only one of their starting five – Anderson Varejao – scored in double figures. Antawn Jamison turned in his first double-double of the season, leading Cleveland off the bench with 20 points and 11 boards.

LA Lakers 112 @ Minnesota 95. Facing the T-Wolves for the second time in 11 days, the Lakers made quicker work of their opponents after surviving a scare in Staples the last time around. Matt Barnes came out of nowhere for a 24-point, 7-reb, 6-ast night, while KoBeef chipped in 18 and Pau acquitted himself nicely with a 16/14/6 night of his own. Darko had an unbelievable stat line (for him), posting 23 points, 16 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 6 blocks. Mike Beasley brings me one step closer to believing as he extended his streak of 25+ point games to six with a team high 25, tossing in 10 boards and a couple of steals and blocks. He did manage to turn the ball over six times though. Kevin Love did his best disappearing act and recorded 0 points on 0-for-7 shooting.

San Antonio 94 @ Utah 82. The Jazz fell apart at home at the hands of recent tabloid thrill seeker Tony Parker, who led the Spurs with 24 points. Timothy Duncan double-doubled for San Antonio, who, by the way, have won THEIR LAST NINE GAMES and are now 10-1. Deron Williams had one of his rougher games of the year, posting a team high 23 points, but doing so on 7-for-19 shooting, and notching a season-low 5 assists.

Chicago 88 @ Dallas 83. The Bulls simply dominated the glass in this one as Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah outrebounded the entire Mavs team. Taj grabbed 18 rebounds while Joakim grabbed 17, and their 35 rebounds combined were one more than the 34 the Mavs team grabbed for the evening. For Dallas, the story was pretty much Dirk and no one else. The Big German had 36 points, while Caron Butler, in his second game back from back spasms, was the only other Mav to reach double digits with 12 points.

New Jersey 81 @ Sacramento 86. RekeDaFreak scored 20 to help the Kings stop their losing streak at six games. The Nets were led by Kris Humphries, who doubled-doubled with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Beno Udrih, coming off the bench again in coach Paul Westphal’s new lineup configuration, scored 12 points in 21+ minutes, while new starter Luther Head scored 10 points in 31 minutes. DeMarcus Cousins had a solid game despite poor shooting (2-for-8 from the field), totaling 8 points and 10 rebounds in 29+ minutes off the bench. Starter Sam Dalembert put up 1 point (0-for-4 from the field), but he did grab 8 boards in just over 19 minutes of run.

 

Previewing Saturday’s Western Conference Action:

Dallas (7-4) @ Atlanta (8-4). Dallas looks to bounce back from a poor shooting night against the Bulls, while the Hawks, winners of their last two, have been idle for three days. The Mavs need to make it more than just the Dirk show against a balanced Hawks team that has three starters averaging 15+ PPG.

Oklahoma City (8-4) @ Milwaukee (5-7). The Thunder might not get Durant back for this one, but considering that the Thunder disposed of the Celtics last night, they can’t POSSIBLY lose to the Bucks, right? (I’m looking for a let-down here after that draining win). The Bucks are coming off of an 11-point loss @ the Sixers.

New Jersey (4-8) @ Denver (6-6). Carmelo faces the other team that wanted to trade for him. Kris Humphries will try to prove again why he deserves a job in the NBA.

New York (5-8) @ LA Clippers (1-12). The Clippers have to win again, sometime this season, right? My man Ronny Turiaf came back to form for the Knicks with a 7 point, 8 assist, 4 rebound, 3 block night against the Warriors on Friday. The man has heart…. Get it?  (Crickets.)

Phoenix (6-6) @ Charlotte (4-8). The Suns looked out of it without Nash on Thursday. 09-10 playoff hero Goran Dragic (10 points, 4 assists, and 6 turnovers) couldn’t quite get it done as the Suns lost @ the Magic, 105-89. The Canadian might be returning on Saturday, but even if he doesn't, at least his team gets to face a rather clawless Bobcats team that is 1-4 at home.

Miami (8-4) @ Memphis (4-9). The Heat have cruised during their current 3-game winning streak, while the Grizzlies have lost five in a row. Do I smell a trap game? Interestingly, the individual player matchups don’t look too terribly far off. Arroyo-Conley. Wade-Mayo. LeBron-Rudy Gay. Bosh-Randolph. Ilgauskus-Gasol. I think this one will be surprisingly closer than one might expect.

Cleveland (5-6) @ San Antonio (10-1). The Cavs try to piece things together against the hottest team in the NBA. Also, Eva Longoria. Just had to say it.

Utah (8-5) @ Portland (8-5). This would be a fun matchup if not for injuries to Brandon Roy and Greg Oden. At least the Trailblazers will have home court advantage, so there’s a chance this is still a very well-contested game.

At the end of Friday’s games, here’s what Mapping the Western Conference looks like:

11-19-2010_medium

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Recap: Knicks 125, Warriors 119 - Raymond Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire Go For 61 Points, Missing Only 6 Shots Combined

The Warriors certainly have a flair for the dramatic with multiple nail biting victories and tonight was no different...sort of. Down 18 points throughout most the third quarter, the Warriors in the fourth quarter -- with Amar'e Stoudemire resting on the sidelines -- began their run, cutting the lead to 9 behind the scoring of Stephen Curry.

Midway through the fourth, Reggie Williams scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth, hitting 2 three pointers to cut the lead to 5. In a strange turn of events, the Warriors and Knicks seem to flip the script, even though the narrative to the game was reminiscent of their previous meeting at the Madison Squard Garden where the Warriors squandered a 19 point lead.

A shootout towards Reggie Williams and Danillo Gallinari (11 points, 3 3-pointers) along with Raymond Felton's incredible 32 point, 11 assist effort (13-17 shooting) and Amar'e Stoudemire's complete domination of the Warriors front court (26 points on 10-12 shooting) proved to be too much for Monta Ellis' 40 point effort. Gallinari finished with 23 points.

The Warriors led early in the first. But the Knicks never looked back after taking the lead towards the end of the first, consistently shooting over 50% from the field and 44% from 3-point land. The free throw disparity doomed the Warriors as the Knicks shot 90% from the free throw line, making 15 more free throws.

Dorell Wright chipped in 16 points, but did not make a single shot from three-point territory. With the Warriors size disadvantage, Wright ended up defending Stoudemire for most the second half. In spite of Wright stepping up to the challenge, the size disadvantage made the match-up pretty uneven.

But it seemed that no matter how the Warriors defended the Knicks, running at shooters, hands in their face, or even fouling them as they were shooting, the Knicks couldn't miss. The confidence building first quarter where the Knicks shot over 65% from the field seemed to seal the deal.

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End of 3rd: Knicks 98, Warriors 84 - Raymond Felton Destroying Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis Has 37

The Warriors mounted a short run after trailing by 18 early in the third. But without any defense stops, the Warriors and Knicks end up trading buckets, with the Warriors unable to get any closer. Monta Ellis’ incredible display of offensive skill may be worthless if the Warrior can’t play any defense.

Amar’e Stoudemire became the focal point of the offense during the Knicks third quarter run, with 21 points on 8-10 shooting. Several thunderous dunks and easy moves in the paint showed how much the Warriors are lacking inside.

But more the same, the foul shooting disparity still remains with the Knicks having shot +21 more free throws.

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Second Quarter: Warriors 59, Knicks 72 - Knicks Winning At The Line

With 38 seconds left in the second, the Warriors made their first free throw. The Knicks on the other hand made 16-18 free throws. The foul disparity is 13-6, which could say a lot about how this game is being officiated. This isn’t saying that the Warriors deserve home court advantage, considering how poorly Reggie Williams is playing on both ends of the floor — getting beat on defense multiple times.

If it wasn’t for Monta Ellis’ 24 points, the Warriors would be a much bigger hole.

The Knicks are nearly unstoppable from 3 point land (43%) and just about every where else on the court. The game started off as what looked to be a shootout between Raymond Felton, 17 points, and Ellis. Felton seemed to be taking it straight to Curry, who slowly picked it up in the second quarter, getting all 9 points in that period.

Former Stanford Cardinal Landry Fields is having another efficient night with 9 points and 8 rebounds. He is currently shooting 58% from the field for the season.

With or without Warriors hands in their faces, the Knicks have been able to make just about any shot. Typical of this would be Wilson Chandler driving on 3 Warriors, hanging and still kissing it off the glass beyond the outstretched arms of Andris Biedrins. The Warriors defense intensity needs to pick up if they expect to disrupt the Knicks current momentum.

On the rebounding front, life without David Lee has been brutal as the Knicks are outrebounding the Warriors 25-18.

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Warriors 31, Knicks 31 - Who Can Outscore Who?

If you didn’t see Coach Keith Smart on the sidelines, you would have thought that this was Nellieball versus Mike D’Antoni’s equally fun, yet defenseless system.

Little defense tonight in the first 10 minutes of the quarter as the Knicks were shooting at 65% and the Warriors 55%. Monta Ellis continues to show us why is one of the bet scorers in the league, improving his repertoire with a running hook. He has 11 points. Dorell Wright is having a good start so far as well with 8 points.

There were a lot of wide open shots as Raymond Felton is 5-7 from the field and 3-4 from downtown. Felton has 13 points and Amar’e Stoudemire, surprisingly, only has 4 points.

Oddly, Stephen Curry has 0 points on 0-4 shooting, missing a 4 foot shot from the baseline. He has gotten open looks but seems to struggling with his shot a bit. Andris Biedrins has looked good on the offense end and has picked up the offense rebounding slack that Lee typically does. Vladimir Radmanovic has been both frustrating and exciting. Hitting 2 threes early on and some nice passing as well. He frustrates as he makes easy layups more complicated, driving into traffic and getting blocked on two occasions.

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