The New York Knicks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-97 Monday night during a game in which Carmelo Anthony injured his right knee. Anthony left the game after falling in the second quarter while receiving a pass mid-court.
The Knicks went on to win the game without Anthony, led by J.R. Smith’s 17-point performance. Smith added seven assists and seven rebounds to the stat sheet as the Knicks overcame a 22-point deficit to beat the Cavaliers.
Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points along with six rebounds as the Knicks picked up their play in the second half. Carmelo Anthony had just six points and one rebound before leaving the game.
“It’s just sore, not pain, sore and stiffness,” Anthony said about the knee injury. “It’s been going on for a while now.”
The Knicks next play Wednesday night in Detroit against a not-so-good Pistons team. Carmelo Anthony will be a game time decision according to head coach Mike Woodson.
The Knicks are currently holding onto a three and a half game lead over their inner-city rival, the Brooklyn Nets. The win in Cleveland was the first for the Knicks after losing ten straight there dating back to the 2006 season.
With Carmelo Anthony questionable for Wednesday night’s contest, the Knicks will have to look for production elsewhere. Anthony came into Monday night’s game tied with Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder for first in the NBA in scoring. Anthony now averages 28.2 a game, while Durant is just above him at 28.6 a game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have now lost two straight games and next play the Utah Jazz Wednesday night. Though the 20-40 record isn’t going to get you anywhere near the playoffs, Kyrie Irving has been great in his second NBA season. The all-star is averaging 23.3 points a game with a little over five assists and almost four rebounds.
J.R. Smith stole the show Monday and has been the Knicks best player outside of Anthony all year. Smith has played in every Knicks game, being the only to do so with the exception of Tyson Chandler. His play will be much needed in the upcoming games, especially with Carmelo Anthony injured and possibly out due to soreness.