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Run-down Warriors get steamrolled by Knicks at MSG

NEW YORK CITY — The Warriors are trying to tread water with Stephen Curry sidelined indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

But Golden State failed miserably on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, falling 132-94 to the New York Knicks.

“We sank tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said after the team’s second-worst loss of the season. “We’re trying to hang in there and we will.”

The Warriors found a recipe for success Sunday in Toronto without Curry. It featured Jordan Poole playing at his absolute best; guys playing within their roles and making the simple plays as well as the entire team being locked in on both ends for the full 48 minutes.

But those ingredients were missing in the Warriors’ embarrassing blowout defeat.

The Warriors, already without Curry (left shoulder injury) and Andrew Wiggins (strained thigh muscle), were also missing Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green who were feeling under the weather, with Green entering the league’s health and safety protocols the morning of the game. Assistant coach Jama Mahlalela was also not on the bench Tuesday in what was an ugly night in the Big Apple for the reigning champs.

The Knicks, meanwhile, had their way with the Warriors, whose same old struggles creeped back to bite them. The Knicks capitalized on the Warriors’ 20 turnovers while scoring 36 points off of them. Golden State also sent the home team to the free throw line 32 times and were also outrebounded 57-32.

“We didn’t play well at all, and the Knicks are in a good groove right now,” Kerr said. “They totally outplayed us. The toughest thing is to try to win a game when you give up 19 more free throws, 13 more field goal attempts, it’s virtually impossible. That’s the thing we’ve got to try to correct. If there’s that kind of disparity in the possession game, you’ve got to shoot about 75% to win. So they took it to us.”

By the end of the first half, the Knicks led by 13 and made 11 triples, which is what they’re averaging per game this season (10th fewest in the league.) They finished the night shooting 45-for-87 (51.7%) from the field while going 17-of-40 (42.5%) from 3-point land.

Five Knicks players scored 15 or more points. Immanuel Quickley led the charge with 22 points and Jalen Brunson added 21 to stretch the Knicks’ win streak to eight.

Two nights after making 18 3s while shooting 46.2% from deep, the Warriors shot 35-for-74 (47.3%) from the field and went 12-for-35 (34.3%) from 3-point range.

Poole, after scoring a career-high 43 points Sunday, finished with a more modest, team-high 26 points.

Klay Thompson has struggled to get going on this road trip. That trend continued into Tuesday’s loss. Thompson committed five of the Warriors’ eight first-half turnovers. He had 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting and made only one of his five 3-point attempts.

It’s unclear how much of Thompson’s inability to get into rhythm is the result of his bothersome left knee. Thompson has appeared on the team’s injury report before each of the last three games as he’s been experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired knee.

Things could get worse for the 15-17 Warriors before they get better. They’ll close out this six-game road trip Wednesday night in Brooklyn when they play the well-rested and surging Nets. With Curry and Wiggins still sidelined, the Warriors will likely also be Thompson.

“The last one of the road is always tough,” Kevon Looney said. “Hopefully, you can learn from what we did tonight and we’ll be better tomorrow. Usually when we lose a tough one or get embarrassed like we did tonight, we usually respond well.”