Knicks Big Second Half Sinks Cavs

Kyrie Irving finished with 22 points in Wednesday's loss to the Knicks.
Chris Trotman
NBAE.Getty Images
Jeremy Lin was supposed to be the Knicks underdog story that the Cavaliers had to watch out for on Wednesday night in New York. Turns out it was Steve Novak.

The fifth-year reserve from Marquette came off the Knicks bench to can five three-pointers in the second half, sending the Cavaliers to their third straight loss, 120-103, on Wednesday night in the Garden.

Cleveland led by as many as 17 points in the first half and took a 12-point edge into the locker room.

But the Cavaliers cooled off considerably after intermission, shooting just 35 percent in the third. The Knicks, meanwhile, came out with a 16-4 run and put 33 points on the Wine and Gold in the third quarter and 38 more in the fourth.

“I saw a team over there in the white uniforms that were a lot more aggressive and a lot more physical,” said Coach Byron Scott. “We didn’t do a good job taking care of the ball and we didn’t do a good job of attacking. If they’re going to be aggressive like that, we need to be aggressive back and I don’t think we were.”

Jeremy Lin did his share of damage, netting 19 points, but Kyrie Irving got the best of the point guard battle (at least in the scoring column) – finishing with 22 points and a team-high seven assists. Lin took this one – handing out a game-high 13 helpers.

Antawn Jamison led the Cavaliers with 23 points and 10 boards, going 9-for-20 from the floor with two assists and a blocked shot.

“We did a great job in the first half but you can’t give them 33 and 38 points in the third and fourth quarter,” said Jamison. “Offensively, we did a good job in the first half and in the second half we missed shots would normally would make. But you still can’t let that carry over defensively.”

Daniel Gibson notched 10 of his 13 points in the first and finished 4-for-4 from long-distance and Tristan Thompson added 11 off the bench.

Carmelo Anthony led New York with 22 points and Novak added 17. Tyson Chandler dominated the paint with 13 points, 15 boards and four blocked shots.

The Cavaliers return to Cleveland for a Friday night meeting with Derek Rose and the Bulls.

  • Including Wednesday, Kyrie Irving has hit 31 straight free throws. He hasn’t missed since February 15 against Indiana.

  • With the loss, the Cavaliers have still won 12 of their last 14 meetings against New York, but the Knicks have taken two of the last three at the Garden.

  • Baron Davis, who played in 15 somewhat memorable games for the Cavaliers at the end of last year – including a dramatic debut at Madison Square Garden – appeared in his fourth game with New York. The 12-year vet finished with four points and eight assists off the bench.

  • It might be a bit early to be talking Playoff picture, but the Cavaliers dropped consecutive games against teams directly in front of them in the Eastern Conference. With Wednesday’s loss, they fell 3.5 games below both Boston and New York.

  • The self-professed King of All Media – Howard Stern – was seated courtside for Wednesday’s game.

  • The Cavaliers played away from The Q for the first time since February 7 in Miami. They just wrapped up the longest homestand in team history.

  • Over his last five games, Tristan Thompson is averaging 9.4 boards per contest. In that span, he has nine more offensive boards (28) than defensive (19). He’s averaging 5.9 rebounds per game, second among rookies to Denver’s Kenneth Faried.