New York Knicks

Although they claimed a 15-point lead, the New York Knicks couldn’t beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. Not many can.

Cleveland Cavaliers 96 (4-1)
New York Knicks 86 (2-3)
Full Game Box Score
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

By Chip Murphy

The New York Knicks came into Cleveland after an encouraging performance in their home loss against the San Antonio Spurs. Going against another championship contender, they knew they were in for a serious fight with the Cavaliers.

New York outplayed the home team in the first half, even taking a 15-point first quarter lead, but in the end Cleveland was just to much. They outplayed New York in the third and fourth quarters en route to a 96-86 win.

If there was ever a night where the Knicks could beat the mighty LeBron James on his home court, it was tonight.

The best player in the league shot just 9-of-23 and struggled mightily in the first half. In fact, he didn’t look like himself at all until late in the fourth quarter, coincidentally that’s what the game started to get away from New York. LeBron capped off a 12-4 Cavs run with 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter to give them an 8 point lead, 87-79. He later threw down a monstrous dunk that iced the game at 93-81 with 2 minutes left: 

Neither team was particularly special shooting the ball, both finishing below 40 percent. No one had their best game out there tonight. This game was won by LeBron James. Plain and simple.

Carmelo Anthony didn’t have it again tonight. He shot just 6 of 18 against his friend and rival. If he continues to struggle with his shot like this there will be more criticism to come.

Kristaps Porzingis looked great when he was on the floor. Unfortunately he fell into the typical rookie habits of committing silly fouls. The rookie needs to learn not to go for the pump fake. He was only on the court for 21 minutes tonight. He did have another highlight reel play when he threw down a put back dunk on an unsuspecting Kevin Love.

Hopefully the Knicks learned a lot in this loss. Beating Cleveland is a difficult task for any team. New York had their shot and couldn’t pull it off. It’s not their fault they don’t have LeBron James.

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I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.