Knicks crushed by the Warriors

February 10, 2009 10:09:16 PM PST
Stephen Jackson had 35 points, 10 assists and six rebounds, and Jamal Crawford added 21 points against his former New York teammates in the Golden State Warriors' third straight home victory, 144-127 over the defenseless Knicks on Tuesday night. Kelenna Azubuike had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Warriors obliterated their previous season-high for points with almost no defensive opposition from the Knicks, who lost their fifth straight - and lost three players to injuries as well.

Al Harrington had 24 points and nine rebounds amid constant boos from the Oakland fans who embraced him just two years ago. Harrington, who invited the boos with repeated waves of his hand, was traded to the Knicks on Nov. 21 for Crawford.

The teams met in New York eight days after the trade, with the Knicks winning 138-125 in the Warriors' worst defensive outing of the year. Golden State set its own season-high for points in the rematch, easily surpassing a 133-point effort in a triple-overtime game last month.

Although Jackson played little defense on Harrington, his good friend and former teammate at Indiana and Golden State, he made up for it with an impressive offensive game, hitting four 3-pointers and going 13-for-13 from the free throw line.

David Lee had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Nate Robinson scored 30 points for the Knicks, whose defensive inadequacies were made even worse by a rash of injuries.

Quentin Richardson was out of New York's lineup with a bruised chest, and the Knicks then lost Tim Thomas late in the first half to a sore left groin. Midway through the fourth quarter, point guard Chris Duhon sprained his left ankle. Duhon finished with 13 points and nine assists.

Golden State opened the fourth quarter of a fairly close game on a 20-10 run in the first six minutes, gradually pulling away with repeated drives to the hoop and wide-open jumpers. The Warriors went 27-for-40 in the second half - and 20-for-21 from the free throw line - with most of the shots uncontested by coach Mike D'Antoni's offense-oriented squad.

Eight Warriors scored in double figures, including Monta Ellis, who had 17 points in his 10th game back from his serious ankle injury.

Harrington, who joined the Warriors in January 2007, had a bitter homecoming to the city he first embraced and then campaigned to leave.

The veteran forward played a key role in the long-suffering franchise's first-round playoff upset of top-seeded Dallas later that year. But his playing time declined the following seasons, and he made a trade request that was eventually accommodated.

Harrington acknowledged being particularly wired for the game beforehand, and he hit a 3-pointer just 61 seconds in. He then called on the boos with both hands, inciting the Oakland crowd to levels of disdain it previously reserved for reviled former Warriors forward Mike Dunleavy.

But after scoring 22 points in the first half while taking twice as many shots as his teammates, Harrington managed just two points on 1-for-6 shooting after halftime. He spent the final few minutes quietly on the bench with his three remaining teammates.

Notes: Warriors G C.J. Watson was named to the University of Tennessee's all-century team. ... Lee scored a career-high 37 points in the Knicks' win over Golden State in November. ... New York finishes its road trip Wednesday night against the Clippers.