The Warriors shot 24 free throws. The Knicks shot 22 free throws.
That didn’t stop the Knicks from voicing concern about the officials after the first Garden game this season with fans.
Derrick Rose was the most vocal after he felt he got fouled on a few forays to the hoop. The Knicks shot 39 percent and faded in the second half — a recent trend.
“I felt we were getting good shots,’’ Rose said. “To be honest, we weren’t getting the calls. It felt like guys were going into the lane and we weren’t getting the same calls. It makes it hard when it’s that lopsided.’’
The stats don’t show much lopsidedness, but coach Tom Thibodeau, too, was upset, and Julius Randle picked up two technical fouls to get ejected.
Do the Warriors simply get more respect?
“I really don’t know,’’ Rose said. “We’re pros. I don’t even want to bring up their names. It just makes it hard when you’re already struggling on the offensive end. You’re driving and not getting the same call. It makes it seem something else is going on.”
On the eve of the Knicks’ home opener in December, swingman RJ Barrett put a positive spin on playing at a fan-less Garden.
The No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft figured sometimes Knicks opponents got up to play before a Garden crowd and it had an adverse effect on the home team.
“Actually having no fans might be an advantage,” Barrett had said on Dec. 26. “I know if I was a competitor, coming into the Garden, with all those fans, I’d want to have a great game. So coming in there with no fans actually probably gives us an advantage that way, too.”
It has played out that way. The Knicks are 8-6 in their 14 crowd-less Garden games. Their Tuesday tilt versus Golden State started a new version of their home schedule as 2,000 fans will be permitted inside. And some of them could cheer and swoon for arguably the game’s most popular player, Stephen Curry.
However, Barrett has changed his tune. He didn’t like the emptiness despite the Knicks’ winning record at the Garden, highlighting a season that’s gone way better than expected. The Knicks are 15-17 and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Barrett, who finished with four points and 10 rebounds, even alluded to missing the old Garden jeers.
“I’m just happy to have the fans back, honestly,” Barrett said when reminded of his December comments. “Been missing them. It’s been great playing at home but nothing compares to when you have the fans back there in the Garden so I’m really excited for that.
“I think it’s a little different in terms of home-court advantage. There’s no fans. You’re really just playing basketball. I’ve kind of gotten used to it but at the end of the day, playing basketball, you want fans. You want to hear cheering, you want to hear the boos. All that.”
The Garden was only 10 percent full Tuesday, so it’s unclear how much noise those fans made in an arena with a capacity of 19,040. Figure that the fake cheers that have been pumped in during the 14 Garden games might have secretly given the small crowd an assistance.
“I think it means a lot to New York,” Barrett said. “It means a tremendous amount for us, to give us that extra boost. I miss that joy and happiness of just having the fans there cheering.”
Barrett led the NBA in minutes in January but Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has scaled him back, particularly after the Derrick Rose trade. In the last seven games, he’s averaging 26.7 minutes. The Knicks are 4-3 in that span.
In the first 24 games, Barrett was averaging 35.1 minutes.
“It’s been great,” Barrett said. “Whatever the team needs. Whatever the team needs it’s all good. It’s been working out for us lately so I’m very happy.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he’s enjoyed the games with assorted fans. San Francisco still won’t have fans for the near future because of California law. Warriors ownership has offered to pay for fans’ COVID-19 tests.
“There’s a different vibe in the games we’ve played with a couple of thousand fans — in Salt Lake, Phoenix and Orlando,’’ Kerr said. “Even just having a couple of thousand fans makes a difference. It feels more normal, more real. The crowd noise actually shows up at the exact right time and not canned laughter in a sitcom. This is the mecca.’’
Austin Rivers was available after missing Sunday’s game with an illness. Rivers, who did not play, has been out of the rotation since the Rose trade.