The Cleveland Cavaliers dropped a messy one at The Mecca on Friday evening, losing to the New York Knicks 102-81. The team welcomed backed their original starting unit but just couldn’t muster any type of offense rhythm to make a run.
Cleveland missed, and they missed all night long — layups, floaters, three-pointers, dunks, breakaways — it seemed as if nothing actually went into the basket. The team went into halftime with just 33 points and never fully recovered, despite cutting the Knicks lead to 4 in the third. Shooting a gloomy 34.9% on the night, the Cavs fell under .500 and will head to Minnesota with a 9-10 record.
Cavs guard and All-Star hopeful Collin Sexton strutted into The Garden as the only player in the league averaging over 25 points while shooting at least 50% and 45% from three. He walked off the court with possibly the worst performance of the season with 17 points on just 6 -8 shooting.
Darius Garland had an encouraging performance with a team-high 24 points with 4 rebounds, but he really didn't get going until the second half. Larry Nance Jr., was back in the starting line-up tonight after missing two games with a sprained wrist. Junior continued to scrap but went an ugly 1-9 (0-5 from three) with just 2 points. Drummond pulled down 15 rebounds, but was simply dreadful finishing at the rim.
Through the last five games, the Cavs’ bench had played with renewed energy — averaging 44.4 total points vs. 26.0 to start the season. Dylan Windler and Jarrett Allen played solid with a combined 23 points in the loss, but overall the bench struggled tonight.
The Knicks, who came into Friday’s matchup on a 3-game skid, had no trouble pouncing the Cavs tonight. Immanuel Quickley led the Knicks contributing 25 points and 5 rebounds in just 25 minutes coming off the bench. RJ Barrett chipped in 24 points with 4 rebounds and 2 assists in the win.
Up Next: The Cavs look to bounce back as they head to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.