Irving had one of his classic games, dropping 37 points and 11 assists on the Knicks as he drilled jumper after jumper. He even went into Uncle Drew mode and imploded the weary ankles of Prigioni with a nasty, nasty crossover move.
The Cavs as a whole had a good game, which isn't hard to do against the Knicks, but still. Tristan Thompson had 12 points and nine rebounds and Jarrett Jack had 17 of his own on a 6-8 shooting performance off the bench.
Cleveland did let an 18-point lead nearly get away in the first half as it slipped into me-first basketball again briefly, but it was able to recover, especially after Raymond Felton got injured at the start of the second half.
This game could have been dubbed the "Battle of the Disasters" as both of these clubs have struggled mightily this year, but the Knicks proved that they are in worse shape.
J.R. Smith was an astoundingly bad 5-14 from the field, but he was not to be outdone by teammate Andrea Bargnani, who shot 5-17 in the game. Iman Shumpert also finished with just two points. Things didn't go so well.
Carmelo recently said that the Knicks are the laughingstock of the NBA, and he's probably right. But Cavs fans can relate, and it was nice not to see Cleveland get really Cleveland-y and lose to New York at home, because that could've been a back-breaker.
Don't look now, but the Cavs have won four of their last five and appear to have developed a tangible offensive flow. They were crashing the boards, out-rebounding the Knicks 38-31 as they executed what seemed like an infinite number of put-back dunks.
But things could get ugly again, and quick. After the team's next game against the Magic in Orlando on Friday, the Cavs' schedule presents the Miami Heat and the Portland Trail Blazers, two of the NBA's best right now.
The games against Miami are always heated, no pun intended, and Kyrie will get a true test against Portland's Damian Lillard. The pair of games will be a trial by fire, but that might be exactly what Cleveland needs right about now. It would be great to see the Cavaliers play with some confidence on a consistent basis.
Even though beating the Knicks is like playing your sister in 2K, it was still an encouraging victory. Now, if Cleveland can win two of these next three games, the Cavs might just be on to something.
Let's see what happens, maybe Mike Brown just needed a little time to get settled in by the lake yet again.
Alex Marcheschi is a senior at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University who regularly watches the Cavs on FSN Ohio.
- Sports & Recreation
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Kyrie Irving
- New York Knicks
- Pablo Prigioni