McBride, Brunson & Hart Lead Knicks in San Francisco. NY 119 GS 112

Before game time it was announced that OG Anunoby‘s surgically repaired elbow had ‘flared up’, he had gotten another MRI which had come back clean, but was not going to play in this game or the next in Denver.

So that’s how the night started. In Anunoby’s stead, Miles McBride was added to the starting rotation — to guard Steph Curry.

McBride did that and then some — hitting three 3’s in the 1st quarter en route to 29 points on efficient 9-13 shooting (6-9 from 3) to tag-team with Jalen Brunson (34 points) on the offensive end and lead NY to the win in San Francisco on a Tuesday night.

McBride played 47 minutes, and Josh Hart — who was everywhere on Defense — played all 48 minutes. Hart had his 5th triple-double of the season with 10 pts, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Isaiah Hartenstein also came up Huge on defense and offense as the Knicks jumped out to a 20-6 lead, and then led throughout the game — a wire-to-wire win — although Golden State pulled to within 4 at the beginning of the 4th quarter. The Knicks commanded the game down the stretch.

Golden State had thumped NY in NY 2 weeks ago. NY returned the favor in SF.

“This team has demonstrated all year there’s a lot of fight, heart, toughness and togetherness to the group,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “There’s a belief that we can win. We always talk about our defense, our rebounding, taking care of the ball. I thought we shared the ball extremely well tonite. It’s hard to win here, and they’re a very difficult team to guard. So it was a good solid win for us.”

“The game in NY they loaded up on Jalen pretty good so we wanted to add more shooting to the floor,” added Thibs when asked why McBride started as Anunoby’s replacement. “When they sent the 2nd defender now you have another 3-pt shooter out there.”

NY improves to 41-27. Golden State falls to 35-32.

1. NY Jumps Out to 20-6 Lead on McBride’s 3’s

In the game in NY a few weeks ago, Golden State jumped out to a big lead in the 1st quarter and the Knicks were playing catchup all night — pulling to within 4 in the 4th but weren’t able to close.

This time the Knicks came out intent to jump on top and they did — a Donte DiVincenzo floater, Jalen Brunson floater, and back-to-back Isaiah Hartenstein scores put NY up 8-0.

Then Deuce McBride took over — hitting a 3, then a drive and then two more 3’s for 11 points in the quarter.

Golden State recovered but NY was up 30-22 heading into the 2nd quarter.

2. More McBride in the 2nd Quarter. And Hart.

It was more McBride at the start of the 2nd quarter, with a drive for free throws and then two more 3’s for a 49-37 NY lead. McBride had hit 4 threes in a row.

And Josh Hart was all over the place all night — literally all night as he played all 48 minutes. Defense, interceptions, tough drives inside, rebounds.

3. DiVincenzo & Brunson Counter Curry to Start 3rd

Steph Curry hit a drive and a 3 to pull Golden State to within 62-56 at the half, and then hit a floater to start the 3rd pulling the Warriors to within 4, at 62-58.

But Donte DiVincenzo answered with a 3, followed by a Brunson drive to give NY breathing room. Curry answered with a 3 but DiVincenzo countered with a drive to give NY a 69-61 lead.

And then Jalen Brunson took it to the hole with a patented nifty footwork move and NY was up 10 again.

“Jalen Brunson stays in attack mode, keeps his dribble alive, dictates where he wants go and uses his body along with the rim to protect his shot from getting blocked,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines.

Brunson and McBride continued to score for NY down the stretch in the 3rd, and Josh Hart was powering inside for buckets as NY maintained the lead — entering the 4th up by 11 at 99-88.

4. Brunson, & Hart, & Hartenstein, & McBride Down Stretch

A Golden State flurry at start of the 4th pulled them to within 4 — Andrew Wiggins hit a 3, Chris Paul hit a deuce, and Trayce Jackson-Davis hit a Slam to make it 99-95 NY with 9:29 left.

But Bogdan Bogdanovic got the Knicks back on the scoreboard with a huge jumper from straight away, and Josh Hart powered inside for a huge bucket off a Hartenstein assist and NY was back up 8. at 103-95.

Hart was everywhere in the 4th, making big plays, causing NBA Analyst Ross Kreines to note:

“Josh Hart still finds ways to impact the game whether his shot is falling or not and his effort and activity never change regardless how he’s shooting,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “He’s still relentless on the glass, defends, finds the open man, outworks you and takes no play for granted. Skills you can’t teach.”

And then McBride hit ANOTHER 3 and NY was up 111-99 with 3:29 left.

Hartenstein and Precious Achiuwa owned the 4th too with their defense and rebounds inside, and DiVincenzo and McBride and Brunson played frenetic defense chasing Golden State’s guards.

“The challenge with Curry is you have to guard him off the dribble initially, and then it turns into catch and shoot,” said Coach Thibs afterwards. “You have to have the discipline to stay attached to him once he gives the ball up because that’s when he becomes real dangerous. You can never let your guard down with him whether it’s transition, pick and roll, catch and shoot — and they do a great job of searching him out. When he gets off the ball he’s going to get a 2nd and 3rd look. It’s not an easy task; he chased him all night; he never stops moving; he’s in phenomenal shape. I thought Deuce did a terrific job.”

“You can’t say enough about what Josh did as well,” added Thibs. “Josh’s toughness was huge for us in this game. Jalen is Jalen. I loved the way Isaiah is playing. He made a lot of good decisions for us; got into the pocket made good plays. Dante timely shots; hustle — when you’re chasing Klay Thompson, you’re chasing Steph; that’s a lot. And then Draymond his intelligence and how he makes the team function; he’s going to make you pay for mistakes — so it was a good all-around win; we had a number of contributions from the entire team.”

The Boxscore


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