It was as if 11 months of enthusiastic fervor had been unleashed in one night at the Garden.
A lively, loud crowd of 2,000 cheered the Knicks, heckled the Warriors and booed the referees Tuesday night. But in the end, the season’s first Garden crowd could do only so much and the Warriors’ talent won out.
Golden State pounded the Knicks in the second half to post a 114-106 victory. Stephen Curry rained in 37 points and Draymond Green was all over the court in a defensive gem.
Green made newly minted All-Star Julius Randle struggle from the field while piling up 11 assists, two steals and one block.
Randle finished with 25 points on 8 of 21 shooting and got ejected with 17.5 seconds remaining after picking up his second technical.
Meanwhile, RJ Barrett had a rough night, shooting 1 of 9 for four points and missing a key free throw with 1:26 left.
The Knicks allowed the Warriors to steal the win despite holding Golden State to 15 points in the fourth quarter.
The crowd was at its surliest when Barrett was called for a foul on a driving Kelly Oubre with 59.8 seconds left. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau lost the challenge, making the jeering Garden faithful even angrier.
The night looked like it would turn all special when Randle took the microphone before tipoff to chants of “MVP,” thanked the essential workers and bellowed, “Let’s go Knicks!’’ The MVP chants would continue whenever he shot free throws.
During player introductions, the Warriors were soundly booed, same as when one of their players headed to the foul line.
After Green bricked two straight deep shots, the fans in the blue seats started a chant of “Draaay-mooond.’’ It all felt refreshing after nearly two months of a sterile Garden environment that featured computer-generated noise.
The eager fans, who missed the first 14 games, were sprinkled throughout the arena, many in new Immanuel Quickley and Randle jerseys.
Sitting courtside were 20 socially distanced fans, including former Giant star Justin Tuck.
Team president Leon Rose and his lieutenants were stationed courtside for the crowd-less games but were moved behind the baseline on the far side of the Knicks bench for Tuesday.
The frustration of the second half got to them, though.
After Elfrid Payton was called for questionable foul after stripping Curry, Rose stomped his feet and Knicks senior vice president William Wesley angrily bolted from his seat, pacing in disgust.
The Knicks’ two top officials indeed got caught up in the newly charged atmosphere.
Knicks owner James Dolan was not present in his new 100-level seat — likely hidden away in a suite.
While Quickley had a poor outing, struggling lottery pick Obi Toppin was energized in front of his hometown fans — and parents.
The Brooklyn native reached down for a low alley-oop pass from Alec Burks and still slammed it home in one powerful motion. Two possessions later, Toppin muscled in a hook shot in the lane.
With 6:40 left, Toppin drained a left-wing 3-pointer to bring the Knicks within 95-92.