OAKLAND — Monta Ellis shook off a terrible first half to finish with 22 points and eight assists, Brandon Rush added 19 points off the bench and the Golden State Warriors beat the New York Knicks 92-78 on Wednesday night.
Playing without injured guard Stephen Curry, the Warriors led by as much as 19 before cruising to their second straight impressive win over an Eastern Conference team. Two nights earlier Golden State (2-1) beat the Chicago Bulls 99-91.
Ish Smith had 11 points, four assists and six rebounds while starting in place of Curry, who sat out the game after injuring his surgically repaired ankle against Chicago.
Amare Stoudemire finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for New York while Carmelo Anthony had 13 points.
Ellis went just 4 of 15 in the first half but scored eight straight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, midway through the fourth quarter when Golden State pulled away.
The Warriors did it once again behind their defense, which stymied Stoudemire and Anthony most of the night. The two combined to go just 8 of 27 and were only 13 for 19 on free throws.
No one else could pick up the scoring slack for the Knicks, who were also outrebounded 47-31 by the smaller but quicker Warriors.
Landry Fields had 13 of his 14 points in the first half. Bill Walker also scored 14 for the Knicks, who failed in their bid to start the season with consecutive victories for the first time since 1999.
Former Knick David Lee scored 13 points for Golden State (2-1).
This was the first stop on a three-game trip to the West Coast for New York.
The Knicks, who beat the Celtics on Christmas Day to kick off the truncated NBA schedule after losing all eight games to Boston in 2010, play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Thursday. They return to Northern California to face the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.
The Warriors played without Curry, who landed awkwardly on his surgically repaired right ankle in the fourth quarter of Monday's win over Chicago.
It was the second time in seven days that Curry injured the ankle. He also missed eight games last season because of lingering ankle problems.
“It was the best thing to give it some time to heal,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said before the game. “Bottom line is he got hurt landing on somebody and we are going to give it some time to heal.”
Smith started in place of Curry and scored seven of Golden State's first 10 points. He finished 5 of 13 from the floor.
Anthony and Stoudemire couldn't get much of anything to fall. The duo repeatedly settled for long jumpers, a trend that continued deep into the fourth quarter.
Even with their two stars off to a slow start, the Knicks took a 43-37 lead into the half.
Golden State closed the gap with a 15-5 run early in the second half, tied the game at 64 when Rush made a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter, then took control with 20-6 burst in the fourth.
The Warriors opened a 19-point lead with 4:09 left when the Knicks frustrations began to show. Tyson Chandler tossed Lee to the ground and was whistled for a technical foul, bringing the sold-out crowd at Oracle Arena to its feet.
Notes: The Warriors have agreed to terms with 7-foot-1 free agent center Kyrylo Fesenko on a one-year contract pending Fesenko passing a physical. Fesenko, who spent the past four seasons mostly as a backup with the Utah Jazz, was in Golden State's locker room before the game but neither nor the Warriors can talk about the deal until it is complete. … The Warriors have sold out the first three games on this four-game homestand. … Former Golden State guard Jeremy Lin, who signed with the Knicks on Tuesday, entered the game late in the fourth quarter and missed his only shot attempt.