The Knicks and Cavaliers certainly picked up some frequent flyer miles during their Sunday night clash at MSG that saw New York win 92-81.
For New York, they ended a five-game home losing streak and picked up their best win of the season, at least when it comes to quality of opponent. Jalen Brunson led the way with 23 points for the Knicks along with four assists. He had this to say about the home losing streak after the game:
Jalen Brunson on the Knicks home losing streak:— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) December 5, 2022
"That can't happen again." pic.twitter.com/Gs9KSuORvt
It really can’t, and this team knows it. If they are going to play any postseason basketball, the Knicks need more performances like tonight. Consider the work that New York did defensively and how well they protected home court compared to recent games. Cleveland was held to 81 points on 34.9 percent shooting from the field and just 22.9 percent shooting from deep. Donovan Mitchell had just 23 points and five assists in the loss.
Compare that to the loss the Knicks suffered to the Cavs on Oct. 30 and it’s a much better read. That night, Cleveland scored 121 points on 46.1 percent shooting from the field and 46 percent shooting from three. Mitchell had 38 points and a career-high 12 assists in that game. The Knicks improved and got some revenge in the process.
New York kept the Cavs at arms length for most of the night and plays like this one at the end of the third quarter really helped to stave off a comeback.
Randle gets to the rim for the easy layup pic.twitter.com/caSA6LsZx1— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) December 5, 2022
New York also needed some plays down the stretch to close the game out and Brunson delivered when it mattered most.
Brunson with a beautiful dish to Randle! pic.twitter.com/SEbmqvkEej— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) December 5, 2022
Julius Randle and RJ Barrett combined for 33 points as part of the starting lineup while Isaiah Hartenstein and Immanuel Quickley combined for 22 points to lead the bench. It was a much3needed win for the Knicks who will need to build off of it if they are going to find some sort of winning formula this season. This was a performance to build off of, especially after the collapse against Dallas.
Let’s get to the travels, shall we? The referees called 13 travels in this game. That is most in an NBA game this season.
It certainly impacted the game and both teams had to deal with it throughout the evening. Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau even picked up a technical for arguing a travel call which ended up not getting called against Darius Garland. On top of that...
OMG ANOTHER TRAVEL— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 5, 2022
You thought! That’s right there were 13 travels called this game and it was the most in an NBA game this season. All jokes aside, that’s what it felt like. When you were thinking the referees would stop, they called another travel and another travel and another travel after that. Is it a sign of things to come from the officials? We will have to wait and see.
In the meantime, Cleveland dropped to 15-9 on the season while the Knicks improved to 11-13 and they will face the Atlanta Hawks next at The Garden on Wednesday at 7:30p.m. We will have plenty of coverage here on the site so join us then.
Until then, do us all a favor and put the ball on the floor before you shuffle your feet. See you Wednesday!