CLEVELAND, Jan. 6 (Ticker) --
Despite Monday's blockbuster trade, the
New York Knicks had no one to stop the Cleveland Cavaliers
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scored 24 points and Eric Williams
season-high 22 as the Cavaliers held on for a 107-96 victory
over the Knicks, who lost in their first game with new arrivals
and Anfernee Hardaway
New York acquired Marbury and Hardaway in an eight-player deal
with the Phoenix Suns on Monday. The Knicks traded away forward
and received no quality big men in the deal,
leaving them without enough size to stop Cleveland.
The Cavaliers' starting frontcourt of Ilgauskas, Williams and
combined for 58 points on 21-of-37 shooting and 20
rebounds as Cleveland outscored New York in the paint, 38-26.
"I felt we had an edge inside," Cleveland coach Paul Silas
"(Ilgauskas) rose to the occasion tonight and he's capable.
This is the kind of performance that we need from him every
Marbury and Hardaway each struggled in their debuts with New
York. Marbury had just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting with
eight assists, and Hardaway made 3-of-9 shots en route to six
"It was very frustrating. I wanted to win this game really bad,
being it was my first game," said Marbury, a New York City
native. "It means everything to be back in New York. It's a
dream come true."
The Knicks had a nine-point lead early in the second quarter,
but the Cavaliers scored 23 of the last 26 points of the first
half. Ilgauskas scored eight points during the spurt and
Williams had seven, helping Cleveland to a 56-45 halftime
Rookie LeBron James
had 14 points and matched a season high with
10 assists while Boozer scored 12 points for the Cavaliers, who
have won six consecutive home games against the Knicks.
"I'm not going to have my 'A' game on offense every night ," said
James, who made 6-of-17 shots. "I just tried to play as hard as
I could and get my teammates into the game."
Keith Van Horn
scored 20 points, Allan Houston
added 18 and Kurt Thomas
had 14 and 12 rebounds for New York, which has lost
three straight following a season-high four-game winning streak.
"It's going to take a while before we jell," Knicks coach Don Chaney
said. "You can't just add guys and expect things to go
smoothly. We'll adjust. We have to get used to each other."
Van Horn and Thomas each made 7-of-13 shots but the rest of the
team combined to shoot just 21-of-59 as the Knicks finished at
41 percent (35-of-85).