NEW YORK -- Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scored 54 points, joining an elite group of NBA players to top 50 at the famed Madison Square Garden.
But Curry's performance for the ages fell four points short as the Knicks hung on for a 109-105 win.
Curry obliterated his previous career-high (42) and became the 13th player to reach the 50-point plateau at the Garden. It's the most points scored in what's known as the Mecca of basketball since Michael Jordan scored 55 in 1995.
Curry was 18 of 28 shooting, including 11 of 13 from 3-point range. He also had seven assists and six rebounds.
Golden State needed a big game from Curry since All-Star David Lee was not in the lineup. Lee was suspended for one game for his role in the skirmish at Indiana on Tuesday, leaving the Warriors down two starters -- center Andrew Bogut missed his fourth straight game (back) -- and minus a major chunk of their offense.
Curry did all he could to fill the void. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Warriors (33-25) came ever-so-close to stealing a win over the Knicks (34-20).
With about five minutes left, he collected a loose ball and pushed it up court. Despite having a two-on-one advantage, Curry pulled up on the fast break and drained a 25-footer, giving the Warriors a 100-99 lead.
But New York had an answer each time. Guard J.R. Smith, who had 26 points off the bench, answered with a 3-pointer at the 4:42 mark.
Curry put the Warriors back up 103-102 with another 3-pointer, sending a gasp through the Garden. Golden State had a chance to add to the lead, but Curry turned it over. That led to a 3-pointer from Carmelo Anthony, who had 35 points and eight assists, putting the Warriors down 105-103.
A pair of Curry free throws tied the game at 105. But the Warriors came up empty their last three possessions, as Knicks guard Raymond Felton blocked Curry's pull-up, and guard Jarrett Jack and center Festus Ezeli committed turnovers.