NBA

Knicks snuff out Cavs' Irving for 103-102 win

12/16/12 in NBA   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

A silence took over Madison Square Garden as the raucous crowd of more than 18,000 held their breath with 1 second remaining on the clock. Every New York Knicks fan, as well as the entire bench and five players on the floor were hoping and praying for a miracle. The Cleveland Cavaliers were in an equally tense moment as Anderson Varejao stood on the free-throw line after making his earning a point for his first shot.
 
“I was hoping he would miss and he did,” stated New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton. “I did not want to go to overtime.”
 
And with Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving hot on shooting, the New York Knicks certainly didn’t want to try their luck into overtime.
 
Despite grim circumstances and playing with a black mask due to jaw injury, Kyrie Irving came to be the Cleveland Cavaliers’ offensive powerhouse and posted career-highs with 41 points, including 17 alone in the final quarter. Kyrie Irving led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a remarkable comeback from a 10-point deficit with 10 minutes remaining on the clock, but eventually lost 103-102 to the New York Knicks due to Anderson Varejao second missed free throw.
 
Kyrie Irving fractured his jaw after landing awkwardly on his face during a hard fall Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks
 
The New York Knicks offense already lacked energy in the absence of their No.2 scorer Carmelo Anthony, who suffered a left ankle sprain in Thursday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Although his replacement rookie Chris Copeland tried to put-up Carmelo Anthony like numbers (eight point in the starting eight minutes of the game), he eventually cooled-off fishing with 11 points in his first career start. Meanwhile, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton appeared the driving force behind the New York Knicks’ offense. Raymond Felton led the New York Knicks with 25 points while Tyson Chandler, just two points behind at 23, got hot in the second half, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
 
''Guys stepped up. Raymond played great, Tyson played great, and it was just enough,''  stated New York Knicks forward Steve Novak, who scored 13 points Saturday night.
 
New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith had 16 points while C.J. Miles scored 17 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
The Cleveland Cavaliers obtained their first lead with a 28-27 score in the first quarter, but opened the second on a 7-point deficit. They again attempted a comeback but a 3-pointer by Steve Novak with 13 seconds remaining in the half setup the New York Knicks for a 48-45 lead by halftime.
 
The New York Knicks again opened the second half in explosive form, building a 55-45 lead on the first seven points of including a 3-pointer by Raymond Felton just two minutes into the third quarter. But the Cleveland Cavaliers quickly picked-up pace, trailing by a 2-point margin before it extended to 78-73 for the New York Knicks going to the fourth at the end of the quarter.
 
The New York Knicks maintained their dominating form midway through the fourth quarter, leading by 10 points, before Kyrie Irving scored two free throws to cut their lead to 102-101 with 10.1 second remaining. After Steve Novak made a free throw, Kyrie Irving pushed the ball up as whole New York Knicks team converged on him, leaving Anderson Varejao open on the left sideline. Kyrie Irving passed the ball…but Anderson Varejao was fouled while driving at the basket.
 
The ensuing missed opportunity resulted in the Cavaliers’ third loss as the New York Knicks headed onto a four-game winning-streak.
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