Displeased with what he saw early in the game Sunday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr called a timeout two minutes into the second quarter and lit into his team.
His demands were heard and heeded, and the Warriors transformed from cavalier to careful and spent the remainder of the evening assembling a 116-95 victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Klay Thompson and Draymond Green combined for 54 points on 23-off-27 shooting to lead the offense as the Warriors (44-4) posted their seventh consecutive win.
Thompson totaled 34 points, Green finished with 20 while submitting his ninth triple-double of the season. Stephen Curry put in 13 and Shaun Livingston added 11 as the Warriors overcame sloppiness and poor shooting in the first quarter to shoot 57.5 percent – 62.5 percent (35 of 56) over the final three quarters.
The Warriors committed eight turnovers in the first quarter, but only 10 over the remainder of the game. After being scolded by Kerr, they finished the second quarter by making 14 of 15 shots.
Golden State finished January with a 14-2 record, the most wins in the first month of the year since the team moved the West Coast in 1962-63.
The Knicks (23-27) were led in scoring by Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 24 points. Rookie Kristaps Porzingis total 14 points.
It was a Klay/Dray night in Manhattan.
Thompson’s line: 34 points (14-of-18 on field goals, including 5-of-6 3-pointers). He added a pair of assists and finished plus-25.
Green’s line: 20 points (9-of-9 field goals, including 2-of-2 from deep), 10 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
Green’s triple-double ties him with Tom Gola (1959-60) for most in a season by a Warrior and he’s the first Warrior to make at least nine field goals without missing since Chris Mullin in 1990.
After a pair of free throws by Jerian Grant give the Knicks a 27-20 lead with 9:31 left in the second quarter, the Warriors charged back with a 20-6 run to go up 40-33 with 5:08 left in the half.
Thompson scored 12 of the team’s 20 points during that stretch, which included a pair of 3-pointers. The Knicks during that same stretch missed four of their five shots and committed two turnovers.
New York got no closer than eight in the second half.
Warriors: C Festus Ezeli (L knee soreness) and F James Michael McAdoo (L foot toe sprain) were listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff.
Knicks: G Jose Calderon (R groin soreness) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. F Cleanthony Early (R knee injury) was listed as out.
The Warriors return to action Wednesday in Washington D.C., where they visit the Wizards at Verizon Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:35 p.m.