CLE 111, NYK 104: LeBron’s 32 Leads Cavs Over Knicks at MSG
How It Happened:
For most of the night, the defending champs looked the part en route to a 111-104 victory over the Knicks. Cleveland opened with a 34-point first quarter, built a 19-point lead at the half, and held a sizeable 27-point advantage. However, New York showed some fight down the stretch behind the same group that sparked the comeback in Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Brandon Jennings, Justin Holiday Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Kristaps Porzingis, and Willy Hernangomez led the charge as New York trimmed the Cavaliers lead to nine points with 3:24 to go in the fourth quarter. Carmelo Anthony returned to the lineup at the 3-minute mark in the final stanza and he stripped LeBron James before finishing a fastbreak jam. The bucket cut Cleveland’s lead to five with under a minute on the game clock. James then whipped a remarkable dime to Kevin Love for a corner 3-ball before his tomahawk jam put the game out of reach, 111-101. James’ 32 points and 10 assists paced the road team in its third win over New York this season.
Knick of the Night:
Jennings caught fire late in the third and early in the fourth quarter. He scored 17 points in three minutes and 20 seconds during that time span. With 23 points (8-13 FG) on the night, Jennings was New York’s leading man and he also dished out 10 dimes in 42 minutes of court time.
Courtney Lee posted 17, Hernangomez added 16, and Porzingis recorded eight boards.
News and Notes:
Rose missed his fourth straight game due to a sprained ankle. At Friday’s practice the Knicks point guard participated in part of the session without a walking boot. His status for Monday’s contest is unclear at this point. Joakim Noah started the game tonight but could not finish after suffering from a sore left hamstring at the half.
Despite the defeat, New York outscored Cleveland in second chance points (22-15), fastbreak points (20-7), and tied in points in the paint (40-40).
The Knicks are back in action on Monday night as the Lakers make their lone trip to MSG this year. Tip-off set for 7 PM on MSG Network.