KNICKS 91 CAVALIERS 75 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
While the 91-75 victory wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, the Knicks took care of business on Saturday night and bounced back from Friday’s loss to the Hawks.
New York’s shorthanded squad entered the game without Jeremy Lin, Amar’e Stoudemire, Jared Jeffries, and Bill Walker. Carmelo Anthony, Baron Davis, and Tyson Chandler were also dealing with a variety of injuries prior to the matchup against Cleveland.
With the Knicks only holding a six-point lead at the 5:33 mark of the fourth quarter, key buckets lifted the home squad to a much-needed win to maintain pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
J.R. Smith buried a 3-pointer off the feed from Anthony with four minutes left in the game and Davis connected on a deep ball to extend New York’s lead to 10 points a minute later. The Knicks utilized the big shots to ride momentum and close the last five minutes on a spectacular 15-5 run.
Anthony paced New York with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting, Tyson Chandler added 14 points and 12 boards in 28 minutes, and Iman Shumpert recorded five steals in the win.
“It was a great win for us. Eight games in 11 days is always tough. To come out and get this win is always great.” – Tyson Chandler
Smith finished 8-of-15 from the floor and a game-high 20 points to help the Knicks establish some offensive productivity with key members absent from the game. The sixth man scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, which included an impressive two-handed dunk down the stretch.
New York held Cleveland to just 75 points on 39 percent shooting from the floor. The staunch defensive effort improved the Knicks to 18-1 when they hold their opponents under 90 points.
News and Notes:
Unfortunately, the Knicks suffered another setback on Saturday night as the team announced that Jeremy Lin will miss approximately six weeks after an MRI exam revealed a small chronic meniscus tear in his left knee. Lin will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear in New York early next week.
New York will have Sunday off to rest before returning to the practice floor on Monday afternoon. The next contest for the Knicks will take place in Indiana on Tuesday night.