Emperor Julius imposes his law on the Cavaliers
This will add a lot to the mood of the dressing room. New York ! After four straight losses Knicks They really managed to come to life on their floor, offering a thrilling and breathless finish at the end of a tense match, a hard-fought breakout success. Riders (105-103).
“Snatch” because the Knicks had several opportunities in the meeting pause but he couldn’t. Especially when it’s +13 in the second quarter and then +10 early in the last quarter. But the counterattacking Cavaliers, with a defensive base and a very fair offense, never cracked, and the tension of the match, as if it could have been any other way in Madison Square Garden, then stretched all the way to the final moments.
Especially with less than three minutes to go Julius Randle, hit a career-best eighth game-winning shot to give his team three points (103-100). Then, two free throws Jalen Brunson and 2+1 Darius Garland then we found ourselves at 105-103 in favor of the locals with fifteen seconds to go. The moment chosen by A Isaiah Hartenstein Donovan Mitchell to come out of the woods with two decisive counter-attacks heroic, the back of the Cavaliers then succeeded in giving skin. Evan Mobleyyoung Cleveland couldn’t close after the last inning.
It’s been slow, not always pretty, but that’s all that matters to the Knicks: a win to stop the bleeding against a heavyweight from the East and stay in the race for the sixth seed.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Julius Randle is getting closer to Salt Lake City. Another XXL performance for a strong winger who carried his team on his shoulders throughout the game with a gradual increase in strength: 17 points at the end of the first quarter, 21 at halftime, 30 points at the end of the third quarter and 36 at the final buzzer, including 8/12 behind the arc! While adding 13 rebounds and 4 assists (but 5 turnovers) and, above all, a big decisive prize-winning shot “on the money”. Julius Randle’s bid for next month’s All-Star Game in Salt Lake City is gaining momentum.
– 19-6 save for the Knicks. Here we’re talking about the “run” that Jalen Brunson and his teammates performed in the last four minutes of the third quarter. The Cavaliers looked close to flying away and taking over impulse After taking an 8-point lead (69-61), the residents of “CHQ” really managed to return this dynamic of their opponents with 19 points behind the defense found after the disappearance of the last days. 6 to complete the last four minutes of the third quarter. Then, almost 12 minutes later, with a breakaway success in the key, it allowed us to approach the final quarter in a better psychological state.
– The guts of the Knicks: their bench dominated their opponents’ bench! We’re being sarcastic here, because the performance of New York’s replacements was particularly decisive. The Knicks bench, which is often not productive this season, actually brought 27 points, only 12 for the Cavaliers, including 20 for the very good duo Immanuel Quickley – Obi Toppin, the authors of very good transitions: 9 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. 11 points and 3 rebounds for the first, and for the second (in just 10 minutes!). Restrained in attack (4 points), Isaiah Hartenstein, on the other hand, was very valuable in rebounding (9 shots, including 3 attacks) and more surprisingly in defense, he twice opposed Donovan Mitchell in the last minute of the match. If Julius Randle is the MVP of this game for the Knicks, the bench is definitely the X factor.
✅ Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. Serious game, even if the address is not there, serious game for the All-Star defenders, who provided the Cavaliers machine with 46 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists and 6 steals with just one shot loss. Darius Garland). Even if they had to leave a bitter taste in their mouths because Cleveland lost. Not for the lack of an attempt to change the result: in the last minute, the lead for the Nicks at 105-100, before Donovan Mitchell tried, shot 2 + 1 to return to two points, unfortunately, with a failure, he equalized the chance to equalize. . Both conductors committed when needed, but their rivals did not crack at the last minute.
✅ Jarrett Allen. Without Mitchell Robinson to protect the paint and the circle in front of him, Cleveland’s center was a massacre: 24 points and 12 rebounds, on 12/17 shooting. If he easily dominated young Jericho Sims, who was owned in “Mitch’s” absence, he had more trouble against Julius Randle during the Knicks’ few resistances against the power forward, especially in the pick-and-roll. In other words: Jarrett Allen was just as important offensively near the rim as he was not in the same zone on defense.
✅⛔️ Jalen Brunson. A mixed ride for the Knicks’ group leader was clearly hampered by defensive aggression from Donovan Mitchell, Lamar Stevens and Isaac Okoro, who took turns slowing him down. If he finished with 14 points (and 4 assists) on just 5-of-13 shooting, he still found a way to make the difference in the final moments, hitting two crucial free throws to put himself ahead.
– Knicks (26-23): Visit Boston, Thursday night through Friday (at 1:30).
– Riders (29-20): Travel to Houston, Thursday night to Friday (02:00)