Knicks Takeaways from Sunday's 108-87 loss to Cavs, including Collin Sexton's career-high 31 points

The Knicks returned home to Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday after last week's two-game road trip and lost 108-87 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Sunday's game...

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1) Taken by the Cavs just one spot in front of the Knicks' pick in the 2018 NBA draft, No. 8 overall selection Collin Sexton showed the Knicks what they missed out on. Sexton dropped a game-high 31 points -- also a season- and career-best scoring output -- shooting 10 of 16 from the field and going 5 for 8 on three-pointers to fuel Cleveland past New York. With the No. 9 overall pick, of course, the Knicks selected small forward Kevin Knox, who scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

 

2) Aside from Sexton, the Knicks had trouble containing point guard Jordan Clarkson and power forward Kevin Love. They joined Sexton in double figures, combining for 34 points between Clarkson's 17 and Love's 17.

3) By the numbers, free throws made the difference. While the Knicks were equal in just about every department on team totals, the Cavs got to the charity stripe and made the most of their 15-foot opportunities as they sank 28 of 31 attempts (90.3 percent). The Knicks, meanwhile, shot 64.4 percent on a 16-of-25 mark in that same department.

4) After they stole their last win at Dallas last Friday, beating the Mavericks and former New York star Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks came out flat against the Cavs (4-5) and seemed uninspired. From the opening tipoff before the home crowd at MSG, the Knicks never led as they watched the Cavs' lead reach 30 points -- 72-42 at the 5:54 mark in the third quarter after Sexton's alley-oop pass to Cedi Osman -- for the 21-point beatdown.

5) Power forward Julius Randle led the Knicks with 20 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double, but small forward Marcus Morris struggled, mustering just nine points and six rebounds. Without Mitchell Robinson, who is out with a concussion, the Knicks started power forward Taj Gibson over center Bobby Portis. Gibson produced four points and five rebounds, while Portis contributed four and 11 off the bench.

Highlights

What's next

The Knicks (2-8) continue the week's four-game stretch Tuesday at 8 p.m. against the Bulls (3-7) from United Center in Chicago. They follow with their rematch against Porzingis and the Mavs (6-3) Thursday at 8 p.m. from MSG, and then stay home to wrap things up Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Charlotte Hornets (4-6).

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