Defense was not the order of the evening tonight in New York, as the Knicks pulled away in the fourth quarter and defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 123-107, the Knicks first win over the Cavs in twelve games.
Cleveland shot 53% from the field for the game and made nine threes, although the Cavs went only 14 of 24 at the line. Five Cavaliers tallied in double figures, led by J.J Hickson with 23 to go with eight boards. Baron Davis added 22 points, Alonzo Gee and Anthony Parker finished with 11 and Ramon Sessions had 10, but it was far from enough to stop New York on this evening.
Amare Stoudemire scored 28 points to lead New York, with Carmelo Anthony chipping in with 25 and Chauncey Billups with 23 to lead five Knicks in double figures.
New York shot 48% for the game, which was basically decided at the free-throw line, where the Knicks made an outstanding 31 of 33. The extra 17 free throws was only one point more than the final margin of victory.
Cleveland fell behind by eleven after the first period at 36-25, and New York still led by ten at the half at 67-57. The Cavaliers made a game of it in the third, outscoring the Knicks 31-26 to trail by only five at 93-88 going to the final period, but it all went south from there for the Cavs, who were outscored 30-19 in the final twelve minutes to lose for the third consecutive game since beating Miami. New York, on the other hand, has won three straight.
Cleveland (and the rest of the NBA) is off tomorrow to give full attention to the NCAA Championship Game between Butler and UConn. The Cavaliers next play on Tuesday night at the Q against the Charlotte Bobcats, who trail Indiana by two games for the final playoff spot.