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Wrap-Up – Since 2007, the Knicks have found it almost impossible to figure out the Cavaliers at The Q. Tuesday night’s tilt was no different, as the Wine and Gold built an 18-point lead in the first half, saw New York get within one, then pull away behind a monster effort by Kyrie Irving – propelling the Cavs to the 109-94 victory, Cleveland’s fourth straight on the corner of Huron and Ontario.
Irving was en fuego from the opening tip, doubling-up with a game-high 37 points to go with 11 assists in 36 action-packed minutes. Jarrett Jack came off the bench to notch 17 points – going 6-of-8 from the floor, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Tristan Thompson added 12 points –including a massive put-back dunk to regain momentum after the Knicks had cut Cleveland’s lead to a single point. C.J. Miles rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 10 points on an efficient 4-for-8 shooting night.
On the night, the Wine and Gold shot 57 percent from the floor (to the Knicks’ 46), topped the Knicks in the paint, 48-36, and beat them on the boards, 38-31. The Cavaliers turned the ball over 15 times, but committed eight of those miscues in the second quarter. Cleveland outscored a flat Knicks team, 31-19, in the first quarter and 33-20 in the third.
Turning Point – As great as Kyrie was on Tuesday night, it was his Draft classmate who turned the tide. New York used a big second quarter to erase the Cavaliers’ early lead, cutting an 18-point edge to one on Carmelo Anthony’s three-pointer early in the third. On the next possession, C.J. Miles’ three-point attempt drew back iron, but Tristan Thompson crushed home the put-back, energizing the crowd and the club – keying an 11-2 run that put Cleveland back in the driver’s seat for good.
Game Ball – Kyrie Irving – Kyrie was almost unstoppable on Tuesday night. He netted 22 of his 37 points in the second half, going 4-for-6 from long-distance after intermission. Overall, the All-Star guard was 14-for-23 from the floor, adding 11 assists and committing just a single turnover on the night.
By the Numbers – 2 … number of NBA players who have notched at least 37 points and 11 assists in a single game in 2013-14 – Kyrie Irving (who’s now done it twice) and Chris Paul. The last player to net those numbers with one turnover or less was Kobe Bryant on December 29, 2009. Kyrie has now scored at least 21 points in six straight games against New York.
Quotable – Tristan Thompson, on the Cavaliers’ resiliency in the second half …
”Whenever you can get big-time plays like my dunk and Kyrie (Irving) making all of those threes, it definitely gets us going again. It gets the crowd back into it and kind of gives us some extra life and we needed it in the second half.”
Up Next – The Wine and Gold have to figure out how to bring some of their home energy on the road – and they’ll need it this weekend as they travel to the Sunshine State for a back-to-back against the Magic on Friday night in Orlando and the World Champs the next night on South Beach. It’s another tough one after that when the Cavaliers welcome the Blazers to The Q next Tuesday night.
Watch Highlights: Cavs 109, Knicks 94