CLE 104, NYK 101: Hardaway Jr. Scores 28 in Narrow Defeat at MSG
How It Happened:
The Knicks were in control for three and a half quarters at MSG on Monday night. In fact, the home squad had the building rocking with highlight-reel plays while LeBron James and the Cavaliers were out of sorts. New York created breathing room two separate times in this contest. In the second quarter, the Knicks generated an 18-2 run to expand their lead to 47-31. Once again, New York delivered what seemed to be a finishing blow with another 18-2 run that pushed its advantage to 71-49 late in the third frame. James and the road team woke up in the fourth quarter with an 18-9 spurt in the middle of the fourth period before Channing Frye buried a long bomb to tie the game at 97-97 with 2:16 remaining in the game. Less than a minute later, James delivered a step-back 27-foot 3-pointer to shift the lead to the Cavaliers and they never looked back in the 104-101 win. Cleveland outscored New York 43-25 in the pivotal fourth period as Kyle Korver poured in 19 and James dished out eight assists.
Knick of the Night:
Hardaway Jr. dropped a game-high 28 points and grabbed 10 boards. For the second straight game against the Cavaliers, Hardaway Jr. was prolific by nailing 50 percent of his shots from the floor to go along two steals and a blocked shot in 44 minutes.
Enes Kanter scored 20 points and hauled down 16 boards, Kristaps Porzingis posted 20, and Frank Ntilikina snatched six steals.
Despite the defeat, New York owned the paint, 48-34.
The Knicks will look to ride the momentum at home with a Wednesday night matchup against the Jazz. Tipoff set for 7:30 PM on MSG Network.