LeBron James Spoiled Carmelo Anthony’s Hot Start in Another Tough Loss


Friday the 13th. Friday night was one horrific night with terrorist attacks on Paris. The attack was the second deadliest on a Western city since 9/11. Let’s all pray for Paris.

With such real world horror, it really reminds you how insignificant basketball is. Basketball is a just form of entertainment, and for two and a half hours the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks provided exactly that.

Cleveland got out to a quick 13-5 lead thanks to three early New York’s turnovers. Although behind ten straight points by Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks were able to quickly erase that deficit. Anthony would score 14 of his 26 total in the first quarter.

The Cavaliers started the game off 7/8 from the field, kick started by former-Knick J.R. Smith knocking down a pair of three-pointers right from tip-off. Cleveland led 29-23 after one-quarter of play, finishing the period shooting 55%, cooling off just a bit… after the hot start.

Anthony had a very nice sequence of plays, to cap an 8-1 run that gave the Knicks their first lead of the game 36-35 with 6:33 remaining in the second quarter. Anthony blocked Anderson Varejao and then knocked down a three-pointer on the ensuing possession for the lead.

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Anthony almost reached his season average (22.7 PPG) by halftime, with 22 points in the first half on 8/11 shooting,  including 4/5 from downtown. One thing I did notice, that I did not like… was that when Anthony got the hot hand, every other Knick just basically stood and watched him go to work. There was very little ball movement, just a lot of standing around…

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New York led 53-46 entering intermission, Knicks shot well from beyond the arc, converting on 46.7% of their attempts. On the other hand the Cavaliers really struggled from downtown, shooting only 21.1% in the first half.

The Knicks led by as many as nine points early in the third quarter, but a 11-2 Cavaliers run quickly tied the game up at 62 midway through the period. The run was capped off by a highlight LeBron James spinning layup.

New York finished the third quarter on a 6-0 run to enter the final period with a 72-66 lead. Langston Galloway made a couple impressive plays to end the quarter, coming out of nowhere for a put-back layup and finishing with a nice floater in the paint.

LeBron showed why he is the best player in the world, flipping the switch in the fourth quarter and completely took control of the game. James scored 12 of his game high 31 points in the final period, including six straight points late in the game to give Cleveland a 84-82 lead with 1:16 remaining.

With James completely shutting down Anthony in the second half (1/9 FG), coach Derek Fisher draw up an post-up play for Arron Afflalo that worked to perfection. Afflalo easily backed down and shot over Matthew Dellavedova to tie the game back up.

Then Mo Williams converted on a tough step back jumper to put the Cavaliers ahead. On the following possession New York tried to go back to Afflalo, but Dellavedova did a good job pushing Afflalo further out than the previous possession. Afflalo was forced to take a further fadeaway shot and missed it.

After a pair of Williams free-throws, Fisher threw up another great play out of a time out but unfortunately New York could not complete it. Porzingis missed on an ally-opp connection that that could have put the Knicks within one possession, most due to a poor inbound pass.

Williams went on to put the game on ice from the charity strip and the Cavaliers won 90-84. Williams finished the game with 20 points.

Final. 84. 27. 90. 156

It was disturbing to see Anthony get shut down…score only four points in the second half after a terrific first half where he scored 22 points. Afflalo looked good in his second game with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, but still had his ups and downs. In particular missing the potential game tying shot.

Next: Bill Simmons: Knicks Almost Traded Away the Fourth Pick (Kristaps Porzingis)

The Knicks for the second time in two weeks will have another Sunday afternoon game, taking the New Orleans Pelicans at 12 PM.