Warriors beat Knicks 106-92 in Kerr's MSG coaching debut
NEW YORK (AP) Steve Kerr didn't paint a pretty picture of his Madison Square Garden coaching debut.
''That was tough to watch,'' he said.
''It was a really bad show,'' he added later.
Luckily for him, it's only one night. Had he chosen the Knicks job, it would be his season.
Draymond Green had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors beat New York 106-92 on Saturday night to give Kerr a win in his first game coaching in the arena he nearly called home.
Stephen Curry scored 22 points and Klay Thompson had 16 on a night neither shot well. But the Warriors have plenty of weapons even when their All-Stars struggle, one of the many reasons Kerr never needs question the decision he made last summer when he chose between two job openings.
He picked the Warriors over the Knicks, and the difference is 30 victories as the teams near the All-Star break.
Langston Galloway scored 15 points for the Knicks, who gave Carmelo Anthony a night off and lost their third straight. The All-Star forward who has dealt with a sore left knee much of the season rested on the second night of back-to-back games.
The Knicks trailed by as much as 26 without him, but cut it to five in the fourth quarter before Curry made a couple of 3-pointers down the stretch.
''We feel like we could play better. We were a little fatigued and it kind of showed but that shouldn't be an excuse for how we executed on both ends of the floor,'' Curry said. ''Just wasn't our greatest of games but we found a way to win down the stretch.''
Kerr was considered the leading candidate to coach the Knicks from nearly the moment Phil Jackson was hired as team president in March. They continued talking about the job into the spring, and Jackson said Kerr verbally committed to it before telling him he wanted to pursue the Warriors job instead after they fired Mark Jackson.
That allowed him to stay close to his family, not to mention inherit a playoff team, but Kerr said breaking the news to his former coach was tough.
''It was difficult because I'm very, very close with him and I feel like I'm indebted to him for much of what's transpired in my career,'' Kerr said.
The difficult choice was the correct one.
Golden State improved to 40-9, tops in the Western Conference, while the Knicks fell to 10-41.
The Warriors, coming off a 124-116 loss at NBA-leading Atlanta on Friday night, led 32-19 after one even though Curry and Thompson missed 10 of their 12 shots. It seemed like an easy night when Thompson's jumper made it 89-63 with 3:08 left in the third.
But the lead was down to 95-90 after Shane Larkin's steal and layup with a little more than 4 minutes remaining. The Warriors then scored six straight, with Curry's 3-pointer making it 101-90 with 2:52 to play.
''We were horrible but last three minutes we decided to guard and we shut them down and we avoided disaster,'' Kerr said.
Curry had a career-best 54 points here two years ago and a triple-double last year, but had no assists and couldn't get the crowd buzzing much Saturday. Nor could fellow All-Star Thompson, who shot 5 for 22.
Warriors: Kerr said he and Phil Jackson had exchanged emails earlier Saturday and hoped to see each other while the Warriors were in town. ... David Lee, who played for the Knicks from 2005-10, got a nice ovation when he checked into the game in the first quarter. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Knicks: Former Knicks All-Stars Walt Frazier, Allan Houston and John Starks presented Anthony with his Eastern Conference All-Star jersey before the game.
SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO?
Amare Stoudemire scored 13 points off the bench. Though he told Yahoo Sports he would use the break to consider whether he wanted a buyout so he could join a contending team, he said he wasn't thinking that this could have been his final home game as a member of the Knicks. He signed a five-year contract with the team as free agent in July 2010. He wouldn't comment when asked if he had spoken with any teams.
Warriors: visit Philadelphia on Monday.
Knicks: visit Miami on Monday.