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Sluggish Warriors dispatch shorthanded Knicks

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Kevin Durant slams home a dunk against the New York Knicks on Thursday. (Aleah Fajardo/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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OAKLAND — With a minute-and-ten-seconds to go in the third quarter on Thursday night, Ian Clark drove to the baseline and sank a layup.

On a night when the Golden State Warriors cooly disposed of the understrength New York Knicks, 103-90, Clark’s floater put an end to the team’s streak of 36 consecutive assisted buckets.

“That’s the beauty of our team,” Klay Thompson said after the Dubs cleared the 40-assist plateau for the third time this season. “No one cares about the numbers. We move the ball and whoever’s open shoots the ball.”

Facing a Knicks team that was resting two-thirds of its big three in Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose, the Warriors cruised to a 59-45 advantage at the break, with Thompson pouring in 14 of his game-high 25 points.

Midway through the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 14-0 run, effectively putting an end to the contest with New York. The win was the Warriors’ fifth in a row over the Knicks and ups their record to 6-0 against Eastern Conference opponents.

Even as the Warriors pushed their record to 23-4 and piled up 41 assists, head coach Steve Kerr was far from thrilled with his team’s play in their return to Oracle after a five-game road swing.

“I thought that was maybe the lone spot of the game was our guys willingness to share,” Kerr said. “They really look for each other and that’s a theme almost every night. And that’s such a great quality to have as a team”

“I didn’t think there was much purpose to anything we at either end of the floor. We moved the ball because our guys our instinct with that and unselfish and they enjoy playing together.”

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant tied for the team lead with eight assists, while Draymond Green added seven dimes.

With Zaza Pachulia resting his right wrist for a fourth game in a row, JaVale McGee once again impressed as a spot starter. Making his second appearance in the starting five in as man games, McGee threw down six dunks on his way to scoring a season-high of 17 points.

“He was great. He’s such a threat with that lob with the shooting that we have when we get that extra spacing that he adds just by being near the rim,” Kerr said. “Defenders have to come down and honor that. And so, I thought he did an excellent job tonight. It was fun to watch.”

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The Warriors also suffered another potential blow to their front line less than two minutes into the fourth quarter when a hip contusion forced Davide West off the court.

“We’ll see what comes of the MRI tomorrow,” Kerr said. “But it’s definitely something that concerns us and we’ll see what happens.”

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