New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYK

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New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYK
Al Bello/Getty Images
J.R. Smith and the Knicks are flying high.

With their 13-game winning streak behind them, the New York Knicks sojourned to Ohio for a tilt with Kyrie Irving and the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks set the Cuyahoga River on fire, running away with the game in the second quarter and not looking back. The 101-91 final score does not tell the tale.

As well as Carmelo Anthony played on Friday night—scoring 31 in his continued quest for the scoring title—J.R. Smith was even better.

The possible (probable?) Sixth Man of the Year became omnipotent in the second half, draining shots from all over the floor with ease. He scored 31 points of his own on 13-of-16 from the field, including knocking down his final 12 shots.

Kyrie Irving scored 31 in a losing effort.

After a mostly even first quarter, New York romped through the second and opened up a comfy advantage with a 13-0 run. The Cavs never sniffed the lead after that.

Cleveland kept alive some hope of a comeback, but the Knicks built a lead of at least 14 points in each of the last three quarters. New York cruised to victory down the stretch as it increased the lead to 20 points early in the fourth quarter.

With only three games remaining, the Knicks have a huge contest against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. With Indy's loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, New York moves three games ahead of the Pacers for the No. 2 seed.

The Knicks returned to their winning ways despite playing short-handed in the second part of a back-to-back. Now let's hand out some gold stars for this fine effort.

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