The Knicks’ defense never showed up to stop an unconscious Ricky Rubio from deep in their latest home loss, this time to the Cavs.

In the first game of their first back-to-back of the season, the New York Knicks (6-4) were without Kemba Walker as Derrick Rose was handed the spot start. After a heavyweight battle against the Milwaukee Bucks in which they won, the Knicks faced off against the startup Cleveland Cavaliers (7-4), who improved their winning streak to 4-0 in a dominant victory as the Knicks fell to under .500 at home with a 2-3 record in the Garden.

Colin Sexton bumped his knee off a teammate early on and came out of the game after giving it a go in the second quarter he did not return for the second half.

It was a tale of two halves as the young, up-and-coming Cavs played a very competitive game proving they are by no means a cakewalk. After a stretch of quiet games, Evan Fournier broke out of his funk versus the Cavs, scoring 11 points in the first quarter but seemed to vanish the rest of the game. The Cavs’ very own Evan (Mobley) made his presence felt early. The rookie seven-footer got off to a hot start from the field, scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The Knicks held a one-point lead after a tough-played first half, where the teams traded the lead 13 times.

The second half was a different story. In the third quarter, the Cavs outscored the Knicks 33-18, building a 14-point lead that they never gave up. The Knicks, for the second game in a row, struggled from long range, shooting 9-of-31 from three on the night. Highlighted by a nightmare third quarter where the Knicks missed eight of nine three-pointers was only exacerbated by the Cavs hitting six of their own in the period.

The Cavs were led by a career night from Ricky Rubio, where he hit seven consecutive three-pointers, dominating the game by scoring a new career-high 37 points to go along with 10 assists.

Evan Mobley continued his dominance in the second half. He finished the game with 26 points, nine rebounds, and five assists showcasing his skills as a modern big with a bright future ahead.

The Knicks put up a valiant effort in the fourth quarter, but it fell short as every time they went on a run it seemed like the Cavs hit a big-time triple to fend them off. Immanuel Quickley led the charge in the fourth, alongside the bench, scoring 12 points.

RJ Barrett, on a rare off night these days, cooled way off as he has couldn’t get going all night and was benched the entire fourth quarter.

Julius Randle followed up his strong performance versus the defending champs by flirting with a triple-double, finishing the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.

The Knicks missed a chance for a nice tune-up before they face off against the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow, who are riding a six-game win streak. The Sixers will surely look for revenge against the Knicks. The last time Philadelphia lost was in a blowout to the New York at the Garden.


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