When the New York Knickerbockers acquired Free Agent center Tyson Chandler in December, joy resided within the five boroughs as visions of Championship Banners danced in the heads of Knicks fans. With the truncated season now reaching the quarter-mark; many Knicks fans have started to call for the head of bench boss Mike D’Antoni as the team has not lived up to expectations. New York lost their seventh game in their last eight on Wednesday night as they fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena 91-81. The Cavaliers ended their own four game losing streak with the help of their veterans, led by Antawn Jamison with a team high 15 points. Anderson Varejao racked up a double-double as he put 10 points on the scoreboard while grabbing 16 rebounds off the backboard.
Even during the worst days of the Isiah Thomas regime; the Knicks could always be counted on to supply plenty of offense. That has not been the case with this year’s edition; as they have averaged just 94.5 points per contest while allowing their opponents to score 95.3 points per game. Amar’e Stoudemire notched a double-double with 19 points and 14 boards, however the team still is out of sync; as if they are still getting to know each other. The club turned the ball over 23 times during the contest, a trend they hope will end when they can activate veteran point guard Baron Davis.
The two opponents exchanged the lead quite a bit during the first 12 minutes of play. It would be the Cavaliers though that broke out in front in the final moments of the period. Daniel Gibson stroked a 23 foot trey with 34 seconds remaining and his team held the upper hand at 27-23 at the conclusion of the quarter. Landry Fields connected on a mid-range jumper with 7:39 left in the second giving New York the advantage at 31-29. The Knicks would lead by as many as nine points during the period, however Cleveland clawed their way back and as the two teams went to their locker rooms at the half the score was knotted up at 45-45.
Cavaliers would lead early in the third, but with 3:21 in the period Toney Douglas drained a 26 foot trey and the contest was tied at 62-62. Seconds later Ramon Sessions answered back knocking down a three point shot from 25 feet out and Cleveland would retain the lead for the remainder of the quarter; heading into the fourth on top 69-64. The home team broke away early in the final period and New York never would pose a threat as the Cavaliers put and end to their four-game skid.
Jamison scored 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal while Anthony Parker had 13 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and a steal. Omri Casspi added 13 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist while Varejao put up 10 points, 16 boards, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks for the night.
Stoudemire knocked down 19 points, 14 boards and 2 steals while Carmelo Anthony added 15 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and a block. Fields scored 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal while Chandler had 11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. Cleveland with a record of 7-10 will host the Nets on Friday while New York now has a 7-11 mark and head to South Beach to face the Heat on Friday.