Cavaliers vs. Knicks final score: 3 things we learned on Kyrie Irving’s amazing night
Kyrie Irving had 37 points and the game-sealing bucket on a night LeBron James played second fiddle, and Carmelo Anthony played some sort of 14th or 15th fiddle.
LeBron didn’t have the best night. Carmelo Anthony didn’t have anything approaching the best night. But Kyrie Irving was spectacular, and the Cavs won their fifth straight game, topping the Knicks, 90-87.
Irving had 37 points on just 18 shots, which, as you can tell is pretty incredible. This was the last bucket of the night:
Carmelo clanged a three as the game ended, a fitting end to a night where he took 19 shots and had only nine points. New York’s 4-16 start is the worst in franchise history:
The Knicks led most of the way, but the Cavs held tight, and then their starpower put them ahead: A 7-0 run including a three and dunk from James put the Cavs ahead 88-85 with three minutes to go. The only scored two points the rest of the way, but it was enough, as the Knicks bungled things, including an 8-second violation in the game’s last minute.
What we learned from the game:
1. The Cavs can win on the strength of Kyrie
Kyrie Irving is a superstar. Superstars do this:
It’s not breaking news that Kyrie’s a superstar, but what happened tonight is pretty noteworthy: LeBron was not LeBron, and yet the Cavs still won. Because Kyrie Irving is a superstar.
2. Even LeBron’s bad nights are pretty good nights
For most of Thursday night, LeBron struggled. Then you look up at the end of the night and he has 19 points and 12 assists. He played second fiddle tonight, and that was perfectly fine.
3. The Knicks will find ways to lose
The Knicks’ role players had great games. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 18 points in the first half, drilling four threes and finishing with 20. Amar’e Stoudemire was somewhat reminiscent of vintage Amar’e Stoudemire, scoring 18 including a slam over Anderson Varejao. Quincy Acy had 15 points???!??!!!!
And yet they still lost. Carmelo Anthony looked completely out of sorts, missing layups, midranges, threes… everything. The team managed an 8-second violation in the last minute — it was a bit unfairly called, but these things happen to the Knicks — and Anthony’s three to send the game to overtime clanged.
When you have the worst record in the history of a team that has had its fair share of bad seasons, truly special things have to happen for you to fail. The Knicks do those things.