GAME RECAP: Knicks 117, Cavs 86

“A laugher may be a slang term for: A game in which one team defeats an opponent by a sizable margin.”

The Knicks (19-27) have been on the losing end of a few laughers this season, so it was nice to see them be the ones doing the drubbing once again. Last night’s victims, the Cavaliers (16-30), were just awful all night. They allowed the Knicks to score from everywhere: Inside, outside, using the pick and roll, crossovers, three-pointers, etc. The Knicks had built up a 29-point lead in the second quarter and went into the locker room at halftime with the score set at 60-36.

It was just one of those nights when everything seemed to go right for the Knicks and everything went terribly wrong for the Cavs. And the good thing for the Knicks was that since they had started the game so well, they were able to relax and get a wee bit sloppy in the early part of the fourth quarter because they had such a large lead. Luckily, they didn’t let things get out of hand or too scary for those of us watching and finished the game strong.

They finished the month of January with a record of 10-6 thanks in large part to the four-game win streak they’re currently riding. And when did this streak begin? When Andrea Bargnani went down with his injury. So is that just a strange coincidence or is it something else? Stay tuned.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

  • Young Tim Hardaway Jr. had himself a nice night. He scored a career high 29 points and tied the Knicks’ rookie record with six 3-pointers. He seemed to really enjoy hitting corner threes in the fourth quarter and good thing he did because they seemed to drop right as the Cavs were started to get a little something going.
  • J.R. Smith, who started in place of the injured Iman Shumpert, made a move on poor Tristan Thompson that caused Thompson to fall onto his backside. It was a wicked crossover that Thompson wasn’t quite prepared for and he fell on his ass as Smith knocked down the jumper. Within minutes, the play was circulating on the internet. Smith actually had a few incredible plays last night. He drove to the basket a couple of times and it was the healthiest he’s looked all season. Maybe he’s feeling better and this is the Smith we’ll be seeing for the rest of the season? A girl can dream, right? He finished with 19 points.
  • That guy Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points on 8-17 shooting, was 3-5 from three, 10-12 from the free throw line and perhaps most importantly only played 30 minutes. They didn’t need to run him out there during a laugher and I’m glad Woodson was smart enough to sit him.
  • Jeremy Tyler had a nice game. He played 21 minutes and scored eight points on 4-6 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.
  • Raymond Felton also had a nice game, scoring 12 points and dished out nine assists. He played 35 minutes and had a +33 for the game.
  • No Amar’e, no Martin, no problem! Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t play, Kenyon Martin was resting his sprained left ankle and they weren’t missed at all. Yes, it was the Cavs and yes they’re awful but that’s never stopped the Knicks from losing before.
  • The small lineup is working! The small lineup is working! Does this mean that Coach Woodson will stick with it? Let’s hope so. It’s fun to watch.
  • The Knicks shot 56.6% from the floor.

WHAT WENT WRONG

  • Pablo Prigioni was scoreless. That’s about the only thing that was “wrong” last night but he didn’t even attempt to shoot so it’s not like he was chucking shots up and they were missing. The Knicks were firing on all cylinders and even when they eased up a little bit and allowed the Cavs to get something going in the fourth, they quickly put a stop to it and finished the game strong.

KNICK KNACKS

  • Another night, another Carmelo Anthony milestone. The last game I recapped was the one when he exploded for 62 points and broke the Knicks’ team record. Tonight, he became the 50th player in NBA history to surpass 19,000 points. Ho hum.
  • David Stern, who is stepping down as NBA Commissioner on Saturday after 30 years on the job, was at the game and the Knicks honored him with a video narrated by former Knicks star Bill Bradley, who was a member of both of New York’s championship teams. Stern spoke with Craig Sager of TNT during the game and said that he’ll still be working after he leaves his job. He won’t be retiring and doing nothing. Among the stuff he plans on doing? Speechifying. Did you know that was a word? I didn’t.
  • Up next, a rematch with the Miami Heat on Saturday night. The game is on ESPN and with the way the Knicks have been playing lately, there’s a chance it could be a good one.