Just when it looked like the last-place New York Knicks were
starting to get it together, they took a big step back their last
The Knicks try to quickly put an embarrassing loss behind them
when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
New York (5-14) followed a nine-game losing streak with its
first set of back-to-back wins, 113-83 at Brooklyn on Thursday and
121-83 over Orlando on Friday. The Knicks, though, were handed the
third-worst home loss in franchise history two days later, falling
114-73 to Boston.
“I wish I could explain it. I didn’t see this coming,” said
coach Mike Woodson, whose team posted season lows in points and
field-goal percentage (34.2). “I thought we had turned the corner
somewhat. I can’t have our guys stepping on the floor doing what
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 but was the only starter to reach
double figures. Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton both went
scoreless on a combined 0 of 12 from the field.
“It’s just one of those games where it happens,” Felton said.
“You hate that it happens, you hate to get beat like that inside
your building. It was nasty game, it’s a bad taste in our mouth
Amar’e Stoudemire had a season-high 17 points off the bench, but
New York was outscored 42-22 in the paint and 22-6 in transition.
The Knicks were also outrebounded 46-26.
“We got to turn this thing around against Cleveland,” Stoudemire
said. “We can’t dwell on the past, we have to move forward and
understand that we’re a much better team than what we showed
The Cavaliers (7-13), who have dropped three straight and five
of six to the Knicks, are expecting to get their best shot
“This is a team that won 54 games last year. I think that’s what
people forget,” backup guard Jarrett Jack said. “They’re dangerous,
especially with the added motivation from the kind of loss they had
(Sunday). They’re going to come in like the prideful team that they
are and try to represent themselves as a top-tier bunch in the
Cleveland is enjoying its best stretch of the season, winning
three of four while allowing 92.8 points per game – 6.8 less than
its season mark. Andrew Bynum has been key over the last four,
averaging 18.0 points and 9.0 rebounds.
“I feel like we’re hitting a bit of a stride,” Jack said.
“Hopefully our best basketball is further down the road, but I
think we’re playing pretty good right now.”
Each of the Cavaliers’ last three wins have come at home, where
they are 6-3 compared to 1-10 on the road. After falling 108-89 at
Atlanta on Friday, Cleveland beat the Clippers 88-82 on its own
court the following night.
Kyrie Irving was held scoreless for the first time in his career
against the Hawks before scoring 20 against Los Angeles. Tristan
Thompson added 20 and 13 boards.
“I don’t care if he goes 0 for 30,” coach Mike Brown said of
Irving, who leads the team with 19.7 points per game. “I want him
to keep being aggressive. If he misses five in a row and he feels
like he can a great look his next time, take it. We need him to
score and that’s what he can do. He can score and he can play make
for his teammates. Have a short memory.”
Irving is averaging 27.4 points in his last five matchups
against New York.