NEW YORK -- After one of the most stunning performances of his brilliant career -- a 51-point night on 15-of-24 shooting, 11-of-16 from 3-point range and 10-of-10 from the free-throw line -- what can Stephen Curry possibly do for an encore?
That remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: There is no place better for an encore than Madison Square Garden, to which Curry's Warriors travel for a Friday night marquee matchup with the New York Knicks.
Curry only needed three quarters to do his damage in a 144-122 home win over the Washington Wizards.
The Knicks needed all four quarters to manage just 87 points in a 23-point loss to Miami on Wednesday, connecting on just 12-of-33 3-pointers. Curry had one fewer in 17 fewer attempts.
"I don't even know how to describe what I witnessed tonight," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. "Amazing. Video game stuff."
Curry, who has topped 50 points in his career six times, downplayed his career performance.
"At the end of the day, it's just one of those nights you have so much fun playing the game," he said. "Taking some daring shots, trying to sustain it for as long as I'm out there on the floor. And what [Kevin Durant] did in terms of his consistency was crazy. On the back end, too, Klay's finding his shot. We have fun doing what we do and everybody loves when everybody else is successful."
Against the Wizards, Kevin Durant went 13-for-18 for 30 points and Klay Thompson added 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting as the Warriors topped their previous season high for points by 20.
But it was Curry's remarkable deep 3-pointers that have the NBA world abuzz after Wednesday.
"The difference is that in 2015, '16 it was new," Kerr said. "This time, people have seen this before. I don't think he spends a whole lot of time comparing this season to any other season. I think he's at his physical and emotional peak, his mental peak."
And the Knicks, having lost four straight, are searching for answers.
In the first two losses, New York was ultra-competitive, dropping two-point games at Brooklyn and at MSG against the Celtics, a 103-101 heartbreaker. They allowed Giannis Antetokounmpo to go off for 31 points in a 124-113 loss at Milwaukee on Monday, two days before all five Heat starters scored in double-figures in their 110-87 win, with Hassan Whiteside pacing the team with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
"I think for us the most important thing is how we're going to respond," Enes Kanter told reporters after the game. "I think that was the first time we just got killed. ... We just need to go out the next game and try to fix it."
It won't be an easy fix: The Knicks shot 36 percent from the field against Miami, while allowing the Heat to shoot 48 percent and 45 percent from 3-point range, their third time in four games allowing the opponent to shoot better than 47 percent from the field.