It Was already going to be a special night for Mark Jackson, who was coaching his first game at Madison Square Garden, where his basketball dreams took root. But it became even more special by the way Stephen Curry made his coach proud.

Even in defeat, Jackson couldn’t find fault with gus Warriors dropping a 109-105 thriller. When see you something memorable, something unbelievable, it’s simply a pleasure to be in the building.

“I’m extremely proud of my guys,” Jackson said after Curry poured in a career-high 54 points before the Knicks made key stops in the closing minutes. “We might have been overmatched at times, but guys didn’t quit. We didn’t let go of the rope. We battled. It was a phenomenal performance by Steph.”

It was a phenomenal game, the kind the Knicks were thrilled to win.

“It was an exciting game, a grind out game,” Amar’e Stoudemire said. “Steph Curry did a phenomenal job. He shot lights out. It was a fun game to play in.”

It was a fun game to coach in, too. Even for Jackson, whose Warriors put up a gallant effort despite being short-handed with David Lee sitting out a one-game suspension for a shoving match in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. Jackson must have used the word “proud” four or five times. You can’t blame him. His team earned the respect of his home town.

Sure, nearly all of the 19,000 in attendance last night wanted the Knicks to beat his Warriors. But those familiar with Jackson’s history with this city and the Knicks had to be sentimental about seeing him on the sidelines as the head coach of the Warriors. Jackson certainly was. He admitted this was as big a night as he has had since being named the Warriors head coach before last season.

“This is something I dreamt about, so it’s special,” he said before the game. “This is a special place. It was part of my dreams as a kid, and to have an opportunity to fulfill those dreams as a player, announcer and now as a coach is an incredible blessing and I thank God for it.”