Cavaliers continue domination of Knicks with 91-81 win
Cleveland wins ninth straight at home against New York
BY EDDIE DILWORTH
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The New York Knicks haven't defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland in more than five years.
The last time the Knicks beat the Cavaliers off the shores of Lake Erie was during the 2006-07 season. Cleveland entered Wednesday night's contest with the Knicks sporting an eight-game home winning streak against the boys from The Big Apple. In front of 16,760 fans at Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavs extended their home steak against the Knicks to nine games, stunning New York with 91-81 victory.
"Every game is different," Cavs guard Daniel Gibson said after chipping in eight points in the win. "You prepare for each one and anybody that comes in here, we want all teams to have losing streaks coming into this building."
The Q was rocking Wednesday night. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony managed just 15 points in the loss. Cleveland held New York to 42 percent shooting, including 3-of-20 from three-point land. The Cavs surrendered a season-low 81 points and several Cavaliers produced highlight reel material as the team pulled away in the fourth quarter.
The Cavs led 75-67 with a little more than seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter when Anderson Varejao gave Knicks center Tyson Chandler a ball fake from you know where. As Chandler jumped, Varejao blew by him for any easy layup that put the Cavs up 10.
Cavs forward Alonzo Gee breezed past Chandler for an easy layup seconds later and drew a foul in the process. Gee's layup gave the Cavs a 79-69 lead, but it was Varejao who provided the exclamation point.
With 3:05 remaining in the game, the Cavs led 84-75 as their lead hovered around double-digits the major of the fourth quarter. Antawn Jamison fed Varejao as he cut to the hoop with only Anthony in his way. Varejao caught the ball and immediately went strong to the hole, but Anthony didn't realize the situation until after he had already jumped to defend Varejao's shot. The result was a vicious tomahawk dunk that gave the Cavs an 87-75 lead and sent The Q into a frenzy.
"We'd lost four games straight and we knew we had to do something different in tonight's game," Varejao said. "We just tried to play hard."
Varejao finished with 10 points and a manly 16 rebounds against a New York front line that is considered one of the best in basketball.
"He's a stat sheet stuffer," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "That's the one thing about Andy; he's going to do a little bit of everything and tonight was no different."
Several Cavaliers stepped up against New York. Jamison tallied a team-high 15 points while Omri Casspi chipped in 13 points. Anthony Parker (13 points) and Ryan Hollins (nine points) each poured in season-highs, and Kyrie Irving finished with seven points and seven assists.
"Everybody seemed to pitch in tonight," Scott said. "I think from the beginning of the game to the end of the game, our guys were really focusing on stopping the bleeding, especially here at home."
After four straight losses, the Cavs needed a tourniquet to stop the bleeding and that bandage came in the form of the Knicks.
"I can't really put my finger on it right now," Anthony said. "We have to just go back and look at it, and see what happened."
Stoudemire finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Knicks guard Landry Fields added 13 points and five rebounds.
Cavs forward Tristan Thompson missed his second-consecutive game with a sprained left ankle.
Anderson Varejao and Daniel Gibson are the only mainstays from the 2006-07 Cavaliers, which is the last team to lose to the Knicks at home. The Knicks get another chance to end their road woes in Cleveland in April.
Scott acknowledged that he was unaware of the Cavs eight-straight wins in Cleveland against New York, but he was happy to extend the streak to nine.
"Tonight, I thought we reaped the benefits of getting back to the basics and playing good, solid, hard-nosed defense against a good offensive basketball team," Scott said. "It's the reason we won the game."
Cleveland will now prepare for a matchup with New Jersey at The Q on Friday.
email@example.com or follow Eddie on Twitter @edilworth