OAKLAND, Calif. — Power forward Amar’e Stoudemire converted two tie-breaking free throws after a wild sequence near the Golden State basket and forward Carmelo Anthony capped a 19-point performance with a late basket and two free throws as the New York Knicks recorded a key win in their playoff pursuit, 89-84 over the Warriors on Sunday night.
The win allowed the Knicks (31-43) to move within one game of Atlanta in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
After leading by as many as 12 points in the first half, Golden State trailed the entire second half until Warriors point guard Stephen Curry buried a wide-open 3-pointer for an 81-81 tie with 2:43 to go.
Reserve forward Draymond Green then stole the ball on New York’s next possession, giving Curry a chance to put Golden State in front with a 3-pointer.
The shot went off the mark, but was deflected 25 feet from the hoop, where Curry was able to retrieve it.
However, despite having a fresh 24-second clock with which to work, Curry took one step and fired up a wild 21-footer that was well off the mark.
Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal compounded the mistake by fouling Stoudemire going for the rebound. The veteran followed by making his free throws for an 83-81 Knicks advantage, a lead New York never relinquished over the final 2:06.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson’s 3-pointer with 1:03 to go eventually got the Warriors back within 85-84, but Anthony dropped in his two free throws for a three-point edge with 45.4 seconds left.
The Warriors had two subsequent chances to tie, but Curry misfired on a 3-pointer and later committed a turnover, allowing the Knicks to hold on.
Shooting guard J.R. Smith had 12 of his team-high 21 points in the second quarter for the Knicks, who improved to 2-2 on their ongoing five-game road trip.
Stoudemire contributed a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double and backup guard Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 points to the win.
Curry had a game-high 32 points for the Warriors (45-28), who had beaten the Knicks in 10 of their previous 11 visits to Oakland.
Curry hit 10 of his 21 shots, while his teammates combined to go just 18-for-58.
Thompson had 15 points and small forward Andre Iguodala 12 for the Warriors, who played without frontcourt starters Andrew Bogut and David Lee.
Down 56-44 at the half and by eight entering the fourth quarter, the Warriors scored the first six points of the final period on a pair of Curry 3-pointers to get within 74-72.
Holding the Knicks scoreless for the first 4:22 of the period, Golden State had three opportunities to tie or go ahead, but missed all three shots.
After seven missed shots and three turnovers, Stoudemire ended the Knicks’ drought with a dunk after an offensive rebound to extend the lead to four. But New York then missed four more in a row, and even though Hardaway nailed a 3, the Knicks left the door open for a Golden State comeback.
Coming off a 24-point loss at Phoenix, the Knicks demonstrated they were going to be a whole lot more competitive in Oakland by dominating the second quarter to the tune of 34-12, turning around a 32-22 deficit into a 56-44 halftime lead.
After Warriors backup guard Jordan Crawford opened the second period with a runner to boost the Golden State lead to 12, the Knicks countered with 12 straight of their own. Reserve guards Iman Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni accounted for half the points with a 3-pointer apiece.
The Warriors gathered themselves go back up six with 5:18 left in the half, but New York spurted again, finishing the second period on a 22-4 run to take a 12-point halftime lead. Smith had 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in the flurry.
NOTES: Even after an MRI revealed no significant damage, Warriors C Andrew Bogut (pelvic contusion) has been ruled out of the club’s two-game Texas swing that tips off Tuesday in Dallas. … Warriors PF David Lee (strained right hamstring), who missed the last two games of the Warriors’ just completed homestand, will make the trip but remains questionable. … When the Warriors face Dallas on Tuesday, they will be playing their first road game since March 16. … The Knicks finish off their five-game trip Monday night at Utah. … The Jazz are the only team remaining on the New York schedule that are not a playoff contender. … Despite falling behind Atlanta in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, Knicks coach Mike Woodson noted before Sunday’s game: “It’s right there in our hands. It’s not about what Atlanta does. It’s really what we do the rest of the way out.” … Warriors coach Mark Jackson, a former first-round pick of the Knicks, believes his old club won’t be a pushover should it sneak into the Eastern playoffs. “You have a home-run hitter in your lineup,” Jackson said of Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony. “He certainly makes them a team you don’t want to face because of his ability to be the best player on the floor in any series.”
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