Perhaps inspired by Steve Kerr's moving speech to honor Craig Sager before the game, the Golden State Warriors put on a clinic against the New York Knicks on Thursday, winning easily 103-90.
Stephen Curry gave Golden State a balanced effort with 8 points, 8 assists and 10 rebounds. Klay Thompson chipped in a game-high 25 points. Kevin Durant had 15 points, 8 assists and 14 rebounds. And Draymond Green finished with 5 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Knicks played without Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony, who both sat out to rest various minor injuries.
Season of giving: Golden State leads the league in assists, averaging 31.4 per game. So it's not overly surprising that the Warriors' ball movement was on point yet again against the Knicks. What is surprising, though, is that Golden State had 26 assists on their 26 made baskets in the first half.
Golden State kept this up, almost force feeding passes, until the 1:11 mark of the third quarter, when Ian Clark scored an unassisted basket.
The Warriors put on a passing clinic simply by movement within their offense and converting in transition. They finished with 41 assists on 45 made field goals, making it their third 40-assist game this season. Golden State is the first team with three 40-assist games in a season since the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls.
Warriors assisted on 91.1% of their baskets tonight (41 ast/45 FG), their highest assist percentage in a game since 12/12/95 (34 ast/36 FG).— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 16, 2016
It is only mid-December, though, so the Warriors could have several more 40-plus assist games this season. What a time to be alive.
Draymond's DPOY campaign continues: Kristaps Porzinigis was fired up before the game, eager for a matchup against Draymond Green. The Warriors All-Star big man had frustrated Porzingis in two matchups last season, so the Knicks sophomore was seeking redemption.
It didn't happen.
Green bullied Porzingis all game, forcing him into a subpar performance. Porzingis finished with just eight points, well below his season average of 20.6. Porzingis was 4-of-13 from the field and missed both of his 3-point attempts. The Knicks big man also had two turnovers and shot two airballs while being guarded by Green in the post.
Looks like Porzingis will have to their meeting at MSG on March 5 for another shot at redemption.
Jumpin' JaVale: Often the butt of jokes, JaVale McGee was not in a joking mood against the Knicks. The journeyman center had his best game of the season, scoring 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting in just 15 minutes.
McGee was the beneficiary for many of Golden State's 41 assists as his teammates kept lobbing it up for him. The Warriors had 11 dunks against the Knicks, McGee had six of them.
Dubs threw down 11 dunks tonight... JaVale had 6 of them 🔨 #DubNationpic.twitter.com/vMz5qfQcow— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) December 16, 2016
Warriors check-in: The Warriors are now a league-best 23-5, have won seven of their last eight and are on a three-game win streak. Golden State will have a night off before taking on the Trail Blazers at home on Saturday.