Curry cools off in time for Knicks to hold on
February, 28, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Debby Wong/USA TODAY Sports The Knicks didn't have an answer for Stephen Curry, who poured in a career-high 54 points.They doubled teamed him. They sent traps at him. They tried face-guarding him.
But, really, there was only one thing the New York Knicks could do to stop Stephen Curry on Wednesday night.
"Just hope that he misses," Carmelo Anthony said after the Knicks' 109-105 win over the Golden State Warriors.
He didn't miss much.
Curry channeled his inner Reggie Miller at Madison Square Garden, scoring a career-high and NBA season-high 54 points on just 28 shots.
"Regardless of what we put on him, what we did," Anthony said, "he still found a way to make the shot."
But it was the shot Curry couldn't get off that saved the Knicks.
With 1:30 to play in a tie game, Raymond Felton blocked a Curry jumper from the wing that stopped Golden State's momentum and keyed the Knicks' win.
"Just great defense," Tyson Chandler said.
Several players said after the game they knew what was coming because they'd scouted the play out during shootaround.
So Felton knew exactly where to be and executed perfectly.
"He made the play," Anthony said.
The shot was Curry's last attempt of the night.
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesKnicks guard Pablo Prigioni didn't have a chance at stopping Stephen Curry on Wednesday.
From there, J.R. Smith hit a turnaround to give the Knicks a 107-105 lead, Golden State turned it over twice, missed two shots and, incredibly, failed to get the ball to Curry. The Knicks got a big shot from Anthony -- a 9-foot turnaround with 45 seconds to play -- and walked off the floor with their second straight win.
"We all came up with some big plays to get that win," Felton said.
In doing so, they avoided being on the wrong end of a historic performance as Curry joined the likes of Jordan, LeBron and Kobe in Garden lore.
Just how hot was he?
"He hit a couple of shots where I don’t think he looked at the rim," Chandler said.
The Knicks jumped out to a 25-11 lead but then Curry caught fire, scoring 23 of the Warriors' 37 second-quarter points as Golden State cut the Knicks' lead to three at halftime.
Carmelo Anthony, who has two 50-point games in his career, knew early on it was going to be a long night for anyone guarding Curry.
"You could just tell the way he was going, the way he had it going," Anthony said. "His confidence, the way he was shooting the ball and where he was shooting the ball from."
Curry hit 11 of 13 3-pointers on the night, including one on a turnaround with Felton in his face to end the third quarter.
Midway through the fourth, Curry hit a 3 with Chandler and Felton closing in on him.
Felton was at a loss after that particular shot.
"There was no way he'd seen the basket and it was nothing but net," he said afterward.
Curry ended up with the third highest total for a visiting player in Madison Square Garden.
Kobe Bryant had 61 in February 2009. Michael Jordan famously hung 55 on the Knicks on March 28, 1995.
The previous 50-point game at the Garden belonged to LeBron James, who hung 52 on the Knicks on Feb. 4, 2009, two days after Bryant.
Still, all the history and hoopla didn't matter much to Knicks coach Mike Woodson.
All he cared about was the end result -- a Knicks' victory.
"I tip my hat to my guys because we hung in there," Woodson said. "We made the defensive plays down the stretch we needed to make to secure the win."
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