By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
CAVALIERS 109, KNICKS 94 | QUICKEN LOANS ARENA
How it happened:
Kyrie Irving was simply too much for the Knicks tonight. The Cavs point guard has struggled with his shot this season, but no one could stop him in this one as he erupted with 37 points and 11 assists.
Iman Shumpert, who might have been New York's best option on Irving, was one of four Knicks starters to pick up two fouls in the first quarter, and wasn't able to make any impact on the game after heading to the bench early.
Even after the Knicks cut an 18-point first quarter deficit to one before halftime, Irving and his backup Jarrett Jack (17 points on 6-of-8 shooting) continued their assault down the stretch, fending off any New York comeback effort.
When Irving did miss, his teammates were often there to collect the rebound; Cleveland dominated the rebounding battle and finished with a 12-point advantage in points in the paint.
Off nights for Andrea Bargnani and J.R. Smith (10-for-31 combined) didn't help, although Smith did find his stroke from 3-point land, connecting on 4-of-9 from downtown.
Carmelo Anthony did his part to keep his team in it, and Amar'e Stoudemire had another strong game, with 15 points on 7-of-10 from the floor.
It was the second straight loss for the Knicks after winning two in a row. The Cavs, on the other hand, extend their league leading streak of scoring 100 or more points to eight games.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony was efficient from the floor, making 12-of-19 shots and finishing with 27 points. He moved off the ball and regularly put himself in position to catch and shoot, and he was able to knock down shots. He also made an impact on the glass, pulling down eight rebounds.
The Knicks will face another stiff test tomorrow night when they welcome Chicago to Madison Square Garden.