By Chris Henderson
How it Happened:
Coming off a historic three-game stretch, Kyle O’Quinn opened the game with a ferocious one-handed jam over Lebron James on the first possession of the game. Frank Ntilikina, who received praise from James prior to tonight’s game, started strong in the first quarter, finishing with 10 of the Knicks 25 points in the period. Cleveland created separation in the second quarter behind 39 first half points by James, JR Smith, and Kevin Love, closing out the quarter with a 61-49 lead. Lance Thomas scored seven points in a two-minute period to open the third, but the Cavs kept a double-digit lead behind strong play from Love. The Knicks continued to shoot well into the 3rd quarter, making 10 of 13 shots to cut the Cavs lead to five. Cleveland’s second unit built the lead back up to 15, but the Knicks remained persistent. Damyean Dotson hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to five with just over eight minutes remaining. New York was unable to erase the deficit from there, with the Cavs winning by a final margin of 123-109.
Knick of the Night:
Frank Ntilikina scored a career-high 17 points while adding six rebounds and five assists.
Lance Thomas scored a season-high 14 points and added seven rebounds. Michael Beasley scored 20 points on 8-13 FG. Courtney Lee had 17 points and six rebounds off the bench. Trey Burke dished out eight assists and scored 12 points of his own.
The Knicks shot 52% from the floor, compared to only 46% for Cleveland. However, the Cavs made 19 triples on 42% shooting compared to New York’s ten.
The Knicks will play their final game of the season Wednesday night in Cleveland. Catch all of the action on MSG Network starting at 8:00pm.