(The Sports Xchange) – The Golden State Warriors passed circles around the New York Knicks on Thursday night, assisting on their first 36 baskets over 35 minutes in a 103-90 victory over the undermanned Eastern Conference squad.
Klay Thompson had a game-high 25 points and JaVale McGee dropped in 17 in a rare start, helping Golden State improve to 7-0 against Eastern teams this season with a fifth straight win over the Knicks.
The Warriors recorded assists on every basket until the string broken late in the third period by a driving hoop by reserve guard Ian Clark.
The 41 total assists gave Golden State (23-4) at least 30 in 19 of their 27 games this season. No other NBA team has reached 30 more than four times.
The Warriors topped 40 assists three times this season, becoming the first team to do so since the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls.
Kevin Durant (eight), Stephen Curry (eight) and Draymond Green (seven) led the assist barrage against the Knicks team that was without Carmelo Anthony (bruised right shoulder) and Derrick Rose (sore lower back).
Durant nearly recorded a triple-double with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to go with his eight assists.
Green grabbed 11 rebounds and totaled only five points.
Curry finished with a season-low eight points, but found time for 10 rebounds.
Reserves Justin Holiday (15) and Ron Baker (career-high 13) were the leading scorers for the Knicks (14-12), who fell to 2-2 on a five-game Western swing that began with a pair of wins.
Anthony and Rose are both questionable for the trip finale Saturday night in Denver.
Kristaps Porzingis, who had totaled 60 points and 20 rebounds in his previous two games, had only eight points and five rebounds in 34 minutes against the Warriors.
The Warriors assisted on all 26 of their first-half baskets en route to a 59-45 advantage, then busted the game wide open 14-point run that opened an 83-58 late with 3:21 remaining in the third period.
Four different Warriors had baskets and four had assists in the run, which featured a dunk and layup by McGee, 3-pointers by Thompson and Curry, and a three-point play by Thompson.
McGee’s previous scoring high this season had been 11. He made eight of his 10 shots.
The Warriors hit 45 of their 96 shots, while New York was held to 41.3 percent from the field.
Brandon Jennings, starting in place of Rose, added 10 points for the Knicks.
Willy Hernangomez and Joakim Noah had 10 rebounds apiece.
The Knicks hung around early, down just 42-37 at the midpoint of the second quarter, thanks in large part to Curry’s scoreless first 18 1/2 minutes. But once the two-time Most Valuable Player got involved, the game quickly got one-sided.
Curry’s first basket, a 3-pointer at the 5:34 mark of the second period, began a 17-8 burst. Curry added a second 3-pointer before period’s end.