March 31, 2014

One way of describing the different levels Golden State and New York exist on is simply stating one is 33 games ahead of the other.

Another would be to point out that over the last three meetings, the Warriors have made more 3-pointers than the Knicks have free throws.

No matter how it's sliced, New York doesn't seem to be the opponent that will deny Golden State a 50th straight home win, but it'll give it a shot Wednesday night as the Warriors conclude a six-game homestand seeking a sixth straight victory.

The stretch of home games hasn't been without some mild scares against questionable opponents. It started with a 119-113 win over Orlando on March 7, and Phoenix ran out of gas and lost 123-116 five days later.

The Warriors, though, followed that up with a 125-107 win over New Orleans on Monday. Golden State has shot 51.9 percent and 42.9 from 3-point range with 14.0 makes per game on the homestand as it extended its NBA-record home run.

The latest victory gave the Warriors a second straight 60-win season, a foregone conclusion for some time.

"Sixty and 6 sounds good," said Stephen Curry, whose 27 points were more than three below his season average. "It's a big accomplishment."

Klay Thompson played just 26 minutes and scored 18 points but has been locked in since a horrible shooting effort in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers before the homestand. The guard has averaged 25.0 points and made 54.8 percent from 3-point range in the five games since.

He and his backcourt mate are the main reasons Steve Kerr has now been a part of consecutive 60-win seasons as a player and coach.

"It's so rare in the NBA, in your first coaching job, to inherit a great team. They had already won 50-plus before I even got here,'' Kerr said. "I'm pretty lucky to coach these guys."

The Warriors have taken the last three meetings with the Knicks by an average of 22.0 points, hitting 53.4 percent from 3-point range with an average of 15.7 makes. The Knicks have made 15.3 free throws.

Curry, though, has been limited to 20.0 points in those meetings and was 5 of 17 for 13 points in a 116-95 road win Jan. 31. The Warriors had no shortage of options with Thompson scoring 34 on 14-of-18 shooting, while Draymond Green had 20 on 9 of 9 with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Knicks have shot 38.8 percent in the three straight defeats, and no team has beaten the Warriors with that low of a shooting percentage in 152 regular-season games since Denver on April 10, 2014.

New York (28-40) has split the first four of a six-game road trip, including Sunday's 90-87 win over the Lakers as Jose Calderon hit a 3-pointer in the final second. With Kristaps Porzingis out due to illness, Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 26 points and had quite the assessment of a matchup of teams with nearly as many combined wins as Toronto.

"I wanted this one," said Anthony, who's made at least half of his shots in five straight games while averaging 24.6 points and 53.4 percent shooting. "Going back and forth just made it that much better. I'm pretty sure we gave the fans what they paid to see out there tonight.

"The way this game played itself out, we didn't want it to come down to the wire, but it was one of those games that was for the ages."

Others might call it putting off clinching a fourth straight season without a winning record for one more game.

Anthony has been limited to 15.3 points and 28.6 percent in his last three road games against Golden State.

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