Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry electrified Madison Square Garden with a career-high 54 points, but Raymond Felton's key block and steal down the stretch helped the New York Knicks squeeze out a 109-105 win Tuesday night.
Carmelo Anthony, who missed shootaround due to a stomach virus, scored 35 points for the Knicks after he was declared fit to start shortly before the game. Tyson Chandler had 16 points and a career-high 28 rebounds for New York while J.R. Smith scored 26.
The Warriors were without forward David Lee, who was suspended without pay for one game by the NBA for his role in Tuesday's fight against the Indiana Pacers. Warriors coach and ex-Knicks point guard Mark Jackson, who made his coaching debut at the Garden, said he didn't think ex-Knick Lee deserved the suspension and was upset he missed his own chance to come back.
Indiana's Roy Hibbert was also suspended for a game and three other players were fined for the incident, which spilled into courtside seats in Indianapolis.
While the Warriors (33-25) missed Lee on the boards, Curry made rebounding less necessary with his sharpshooting, especially from 3-point range. Curry shot 18-of-28 from the field, including 11-of-13 on his threes.
Just when Curry seemed unstoppable, Felton blocked his jumper with 1:30 left and the Knicks raced down court to take a 107-105 lead on Smith's drive to the basket with 1:10 remaining.
In the final minute, after Anthony's off-balance jumper gave the Knicks a 109-105 lead, Felton stole the ball for another Warriors turnover and New York (34-20) was on its way to the victory.
Curry had long ago expressed an appreciation for the prospect of playing at the Garden, expecting the Knicks to draft him with the eighth pick in the 2009 draft. But the Warriors snatched him up with the seventh pick and the Knicks and their fans got an agonizing look at what could have been Tuesday night. The performance will go down as one of those iconic nights by a Knicks opponent that so won the respect of the Knicks fans that they began gasping at Curry's prowess in the fourth quarter, even amid a tense battle between playoff contenders.
After fending off a double team by feeding Draymond Green inside on Golden State's previous possession, Curry gave the Warriors their first lead in about four minutes with a pull-up three, to put them ahead 100-99 with 4:43 left.
A minute later, he again put them on top with a three, giving Golden State a 103-102 lead with 3:44 left.
But Anthony responded with a 3-pointer of his own and the Knicks crowd found its voice, chanting for "defense" on the next possession with New York up 105-103 with three minutes left. Curry would make a rare mistake on a bad pass, but Golden State would tie it on its next possession.
But then Felton took over defensively and the Knicks responded, sending Golden State to its second loss in the third game of its five-game road trip.
The Knicks maintained their three-point halftime lead, entering the fourth quarter with an 84-81 lead, as Curry hit yet another three with five seconds left in the third period to cut a six-point deficit in half.
After leading by as much as 14 in the first half, the Knicks entered halftime with a 58-55 lead. Curry scored 27 first-half points and made four 3-pointers to keep Golden State in the game.
Anthony scored 18 points before the break and Chandler, exploiting Lee's absence had seven points and 17 rebounds at that point, including 13 boards in the first quarter.
NOTES: Knicks forward Rasheed Wallace will require surgery this week for a fractured bone in his left foot and will be out for eight weeks, meaning he would miss the rest of the regular season, the Knicks announced. Wallace, who averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 20 games, had been out since Dec. 13 with a foot injury, but the club said the fracture was discovered in recent X-rays. Coach Mike Woodson said before the game he would not waive the 38-year-old veteran to clear a roster spot because he hoped he might be able to return at some point in the postseason. ... Knicks point guard Pablo Prigioni (back spasms) was deemed able to play shortly before game time. ... Along with Lee's suspension, Curry and Klay Thompson were fined $35,000 apiece, as was the Pacers' Lance Stephenson, for their roles in escalating Tuesday's fight, the league announced.