Knicks Battle Back From 22 Down, Upend Cavs 102-97

Jonah Ballow



How it happened:
In a game of two halves, the Knicks completed a stirring comeback from 22 points down to upend the Cavaliers, 102-97, on Monday night.

Amar’e Stoudemire stepped up in a huge performance after Carmelo Anthony fell awkwardly in the midpoint of the second period and had to leave the game with a right knee injury. STAT registered a team-high 22 points in 33 minutes of game action off bench.

New York’s big man fought through deep traffic in the paint for a reverse layup to provide the road squad with a 99-95 lead with 40 seconds on the game clock.

Kyrie Irving scored two of his 22 points on a driving layup and Tristan Thompson blocked Raymond Felton’s layup attempt as the shot clock read three seconds and the game clock 12.9.

Head coach Mike Woodson whistled for a timeout and Stoudemire just missed a baseline jumper but Tyson Chandler tapped out a board to Jason Kidd. The veteran Kidd hit one of two free throws to place pressure on Cleveland to hit a game-tying 3-pointer.

As expected, Irving received the ball near midcourt and quickly attempted a deep ball. Chandler was caught on the switch, but he swatted the attempted shot from downtown to seal the improbable victory for the Knicks.

The Cavaliers absolutely dominated the first half of action, shooting a jaw-dropping 81.5 percent from the floor and 5-of-6 from behind the arc. Meanwhile, New York committed seven turnovers and only connected on 38.5 percent to fall behind, 52-30, at the time of Anthony’s injury. Marreese Speights was off to a career night, hitting his first 10 attempts for 21 points in the first half.

The Knicks remained calm without Anthony and even went on a 31-10 run when he left for the locker room. 

Steve Novak buried a 3-pointer at the 8:57 mark of the fourth quarter to give New York its first lead since 6:51 in the first quarter. The Knicks outscored the Cavaliers 53-36 in the second half.

Woodson placed J.R. Smith and Stoudemire in the starting lineup to start the second half and even told reporters he would like to feature Stoudemire for more minutes prior to the contest.

In the exhilarating road win, New York bounced back from the loss to Miami and improved to 36-21 on the season. Felton finished with 10 assists, Smith scored 18, and Novak scored 15 off the pine.

Knick of the Night:
Stoudemire worked the baseline for countless dunks in the win tonight. He hit 10-of-15 shots from the field and grabbed six boards.

Statistically Speaking:
The Knicks bench compined for a startling 70 of the 102 points scored tonight.

Looking Ahead:
The Knicks completed the back-to-back and will finish the road trip with a contest in Detroit. After tonight’s game, the squad flew to Detroit and will face the Pistons on Wednesday evening.

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