The Knicks and Cavaliers played in a pretty close first quarter but by the end of it, Cleveland was up, 25-24. New York started off the second quarter strong, going on a 10-2 run. At the 8:05 minute mark, they were up, 34-27. Things would then begin to slow down for the Knicks, as Kyrie Irving started dominating on the offensive end by scoring from all angles. At halftime, he notched 23 points. The score at the time was 53-50 in favor of the Knicks. Costless throw shooting was a key reason why the Cavs were able to stay close, as they shot 10-of-14 from the line.
Key names Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James struggled from the floor after the two quarters. Anthony had seven points, and James had 6 points. It seemed like Irving and James switched roles in the first half, as Irving had no assists while James put up nine. Kevin Love was also quite, having scored only seven points. New York was outscoring Cleveland in bench points, 29-8. Sophomore player Tim Hardaway Jr. played a major role in that category, as he contributed with 16 points. The Cavaliers were shooting 25 percent from the three-point arc, and the Knicks were at 46 percent.
By the 7:19 mark of the third quarter, New York was still in the lead, 59-55. Struggles would continue for Anthony and James, as they would continue to miss shots. The offensive display by Irving carried on into the third, as he could not be stopped. At the 2:13 mark of the quarter, the Cavaliers were able to regain the lead, as they went up, 66-64. The Knicks would respond well and entered the fourth on a 9-2 run.
To start the last quarter of the game, both James and Anthony would sit out. By midway through the quarter, both players were already back in the game, as New York was on top by five points. James then nailed a long three pointer followed by a fast break dunk to give the Cavaliers the lead with under four minutes to go. Irving was finally able to achieve some assists in the final seconds of the game. Several timeouts were called by both sides, as the game was nearing its end. Irving was able to put the finishing touches to the game, as he converted on a driving left-handed layup to give his team a three-point lead with 10 seconds left. Anthony attempted a three pointer while being guarded by James to try and send the game to overtime, but the shot would not fall. Irving finished with a season-high of 37 points to go along with two assists.
James finished with a double-double with 19 points and 12 assists. Love was able to achieve one of his own with 11 points and 11 boards. Hardaway Jr. was the high man for New York with 20 points. Amar'e Stoudemire provided some solid offense with 18 points. Although the Knicks were able to win much of the stat sheet categories this game, turnovers came back to haunt them, as they had 21 for the night.
Anthony concluded the night with just nine points on 4-for-19 shooting, another off night for him, as he also couldn’t find a rhythm in their previous game against the Brooklyn Nets. He was able to get offensive help this game, as the Knicks put up a good fight, but he just could not deliver tonight. Anthony has played lots of minutes, and it's still early in the season. Whether it's his back problems or exhaustion, one must wonder how long this will continue to trouble him. He has done everything he can to help it turn it around for this team, but tonight was just not his night.
The next game for both teams will be on December 5. New York will have a meeting with the Charlotte Hornets, while the Cavaliers will face off against the Toronto Raptors.