NEW YORK -- Warriors legend Rick Barry didn't watch Stephen Curry go for 54 points at Madison Square Garden. But the highlights were enough to earn a tip of the cap from one of the 50 greatest players of all time.

"Any time you can score 54 points, it's pretty impressive," Barry said in a phone interview. "He did it a lot of different ways -- going to the basket, floaters, 3s, creating his own shot, coming down in transition and pulling up. He shot the hell out of the ball."

Curry snatched the attention of the basketball world, even though the Warriors lost 109-105 to the host Knicks on Tuesday. Curry was 18 of 28 shooting and only missed two of his 13 attempts from 3-point range.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Warriors is greeted by Draymond Green #23 after breaking the 50 point mark en route to a total of 54 in the game against the New
Stephen Curry #30 of the Warriors is greeted by Draymond Green #23 after breaking the 50 point mark en route to a total of 54 in the game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 27, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Barry, who scored 58 at the Garden on Dec. 14, 1965, said he liked how Curry mixed it up. But he also liked how he set up his teammates when the defense called for it.

The Hall of Famer said he knew Curry had that kind of game. He said he hopes the performance reveals to Curry the kind of player he can be when he is aggressive.

"That's the way he needs to play all the time," Barry said. "You've got to play with that aggressive mentality. As unselfish as he is, and with the vision he has, it opens up so much more when he plays that way. The entire team benefits when he plays that aggressively. I don't know how Mark (Jackson) feels, but I'd be mad if he doesn't take 20 shots per game."