The Cleveland Cavaliers got some good news and some bad news before this game started. The good news was that Kyrie Irving would be returning after missing the last couple games with a knee injury. The bad news was that Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller were both sick and would miss the game.
Early on, it looked like the Cavaliers wouldn’t miss them too much. On the first possession Kyrie Irving made a nice pass to a cutting Marreese Speights, who was starting for Zeller, for a wide open dunk. On the next possession Irving knocked down a three and the Cavaliers were off and running to a 5 point lead. They would end the 1st quarter with a 10 point lead.
Things would only get better from there in the 2nd quarter, as Speights would go off for 21 first half points and the Cavaliers lead would swell to 22 points. Midway through the quarter Carmelo Anthony took an awkward fall and decided he had enough and went to the locker room and wouldn’t return to the game.
So easy win for the Cavs right? Nope. Instead a miserable collapse occurred in the 3rd quarter and the Cavaliers executed poorly down the stretch in the 4th to allow the Knicks to steal a win in the Q.
After letting the Knicks get ahead by 6 with about two minutes left, the Cavaliers made a mini run to make it a game and out it within Kyrie’s reach. After an Irving layup with 40 seconds left put the Cavs within two, Ray Felton came back on the other end and looked like he had a clear path to an easy layup, but Tristan Thompson came out of nowhere to swat the ball out of bounds with three seconds left on the shot clock. On the ensuing inbound play, Amare Stoudemire missed a quick jumper from the baseline, but Tyson Chandler knocked the ball back to Jason Kidd, who was quickly fouled by Irving.
Kidd would miss the first FT to open the door. He made the 2nd to give the Knicks a 3 point lead with 6 seconds left. The Cavaliers’ inbound play saw Tyson Chandler on Kyrie Irving. I’m not sure if Irving forgot how much time was left or wanted to try to give the Cavs two shots at tying the game, but rather than use his ball handling skills to create some space for a quality shot, he instead just quickly threw up an ugly looking leaner that Chandler was able to easily knock out of harm’s way. That would be all she wrote for the Cavs.
As we’re prone to saying around these parts, this was yet another frustrating game that you just feel like the Cavaliers fell asleep on and let it get away.