Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks knocked off a listless Cleveland Cavaliers team by a final score of 101-91, proving that superior talent and hot shooting really can make up for a complete lack of size—as long as the opponent is as disorganized as the Cavs.
The Knicks got 31 points in 30 minutes of work from Anthony, and although the league's leading scorer posted his lowest point total in nearly two weeks, he had to be glad to get a little bit of rest during the fourth quarter of a blowout win.
J.R. Smith was unconscious for almost the entire game, hitting 13-of-16 shots while matching Anthony's 31 points in just 29 minutes. The Knicks' sixth man attacked the basket, hit pull-up jumpers from everywhere and was generally unstoppable on offense.
New York shot 50 percent as a team and somehow managed to keep the rebounding battle close, posting a minus-two total despite their lack of a big man.
For the Cavs, Kyrie Irving took more shots (27) and more three-point attempts (10) than he had in any game of his career. All of those hoists amounted to 31 points, but with no other help to speak of, Irving's inefficient production was hardly enough to threaten the Knicks.
New York's magic number to clinch the East's No. 2 seed is now just "one." With the Indiana Pacers coming to town on April 14, Anthony and Co. will have a chance to solidify their playoff spot.
The Knicks easily cruised past a disinterested Cavs club on Friday. They won't have quite as easy of a time against the bruising Pacers on Sunday.
Final Score: Knicks 101, Cavs 91