Without their floor leader, the Golden State Warriors are hoping other players can step up and send the team off on a good note heading into the All-Star break when they host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
The Warriors (24-29) will be without Baron Davis for awhile after the point guard underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday. Davis, who’s averaging 20.7 points and 8.7 assists, had missed five straight games before deciding to have the surgery.
There’s no timetable yet for his return, meaning other players will have to step up in his absence.
Stephen Jackson, who spent Monday taking care of legal problems, will be in uniform for a full game after he missed most of the Warriors’ 123-111 loss to Denver.
Jackson testified in a trial in Indianapolis of a man who hit him with a car during a fight outside a strip club last fall. The man was convicted Monday in a ruling by a judge and Jackson flew back to Denver to try and play the game. He didn’t arrive until after halftime and scored just nine points during Golden State’s second straight loss.
“I’m just glad that a part of it’s out of the way. I’m ready to move on,” Jackson said of his testimony. “It went well. It’s something I couldn’t get around.”
Missing Davis and without Jackson for most of the contest, the Warriors got another boost from Kelenna Azubuike, who scored 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting and has averaged 10.1 points in 18 games since being called up from the Developmental League. The rookie from Kentucky has started at forward and guard the last two games, averaging 19.5 points on 59 percent shooting.
Golden State has won three straight over New York and seven of the last eight meetings between the teams, including four in a row at home. The Warriors had won three straight overall at Oracle Arena before Sunday’s loss to Atlanta and are 18-9 at home.
This also will be the final game before the break for New York, which is 1-1 on its three-game road trip.
The Knicks (23-29) matched their win total from last season with a 107-106 victory over the Lakers on Tuesday night. Eddy Curry had a go-ahead dunk with 7.1 seconds remaining and New York picked up a rare road win, having lost four of its previous five away from home, including a 104-102 overtime loss to Utah on Saturday in the opener of the trip.
“It feels good to have 23 wins right now, especially after what we went through last year,” Curry said.
Curry went 9-for-12 from the floor and finished with 19 points, including the winning basket, which came off a lob from Jamal Crawford, who had 24 points to lead New York, winners of three of four overall.
“We’re playing pretty good basketball right now. We’re a good team,” Crawford said. “Everybody really understands their roles. (Knicks coach) Isiah (Thomas) makes it really clear what he wants from us.”