Knicks beat Warriors 89-84, eye final playoff spot

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 30, 2014 at 11:43 pm •  Published: March 30, 2014
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — One game.

After a season featuring more losses than wins, that's all that separates the New York Knicks and the final postseason spot in the weak Eastern Conference standings.

J.R. Smith scored 21 points, Carmelo Anthony added 19 points and nine rebounds and the Knicks moved closer to a playoff seed by beating the undermanned Golden State Warriors 89-84 on Sunday night.

"We can't worry about Cleveland, Atlanta, Charlotte — none of them guys. We control our own thing," Anthony said. "If we play like tonight and just play hard and really lock in and focus on what we have to focus on, I think we'll be all right."

The Knicks outscored Golden State 34-12 in the second quarter to go ahead 56-44 at the half, and then held off a furious rally by Stephen Curry and the Warriors in the closing minutes.

Curry scored 32 points, including a tying 3-pointer with 2:42 remaining. But he missed his last two shots from long range and also had a pass stolen on Golden State's final possession.

New York (31-43) is a game behind fast-fading Atlanta, which has lost six straight, for the final playoff seed. And the Knicks can credit their defense for the latest victory, holding the streaky Warriors to 35.4 percent shooting.

"Our defense finally stepped up," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.

With big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee sidelined with injuries, Curry tried to keep the Warriors close.

Curry connected on consecutive 3-pointers to slice New York's lead to 74-72 early in the fourth quarter, riling up the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 for the finishing stretch.

After the Knicks went ahead 81-75, Curry & Co. roared back again. The All-Star point guard capped a 6-0 spurt with a corner 3-pointer, dancing in place after tying the score with 2:42 to play.

Curry missed from long range his next time down, chasing the rebound but then forcing an errant shot while trying to draw a foul. Jermaine O'Neal fouled Amare Stoudemire, who made a pair of throws to put the Knicks in front.

New York forced Andre Iguodala into a miss before Anthony's pull-up jumper. Klay Thompson came back with a 3-pointer to bring the Warriors within one.

Anthony hit two free throws to put the Knicks up 87-84 with 45.4 seconds left. Curry's 3-point attempt over Anthony rimmed in-and-out, the Knicks grabbed the rebound but were called for a shot-clock violation.

Raymond Felton closed out fast on the final possession against Curry, who double-clutched and tried to pass in the air — only to have Shannon Brown steal the ball, make two free throws and seal a big victory for the Knicks.

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