KNICKS 101 CAVALIERS 91 | QUICKEN LOANS ARENA
How it happened:
The Knicks quickly washed the awful taste of a loss out of their mouths with a clean 101-91 win over the Cavaliers on Friday night in Cleveland.
One night after its 13-game win streak was halted by the Chicago Bulls, New York bounced back in a big way despite a shorthanded frontline.
In a three-minute time span, the Knicks raced out on a 9-0 run in the middle of the second quarter while building a 14-point lead. New York outscored the home team 25-19 in that second period as the Cavaliers offered little resistance in the final matchup between the two teams this season.
Carmelo Anthony continued his jaw-dropping month of play. Cleveland had no defensive answer for the All-Star, who lit up the lottery bound club for 31 points in just 29 minutes of court time. As seen in this torrid streak of games, J.R. Smith joined the party with 31 points off the pine.
The Cavaliers promising second-year point guard Kryie Irving attempted to fuel their offense and even cut the lead to single digits in the third quarter. Each time Irving and company generated some momentum, New York turned to its prolific tandem of Anthony and Smith to build back the lead.
Irving finished with 31 points, six rebounds, and five assists in a losing effort.
New York is now 14-1 in its last 15 games and 52-37 overall as the hottest team in the league with three contests left in the regular season.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony and Smith share the honors this evening. The two combined for 62 points on 25-of-40 shooting from the floor, 4-of-8 behind the arc, and 19 rebounds. Anthony has now scored 30-plus in seven straight games, tying Willie Naulis for the franchise’s second-best streak. Amar’e Stoudemire had nine in 2010-11.
New York shot 50.6 percent in the win while holding Cleveland to just 43 percent and 27.3 percent from downtown.
News and Notes:
On Friday night, New York waived veteran Kurt Thomas to make room for big man Solomon Jones. For more on Jones, read this story.
The Knicks will return to NYC early Saturday morning with day off to rest and prepare for a potential playoff preview against the Pacers on Sunday afternoon at the Garden.