The Cleveland Cavaliers began a three-game road trip in Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, and the New York Knicks danced all over them in a 117-86 win.
Playing against the team that selected Anthony Bennett first overall in the 2013 draft, 24th overall pick Tim Hardaway looked like the Rookie of the Year on his way to 29 points. Hardaway connected on six of his 12 attempts from three-point range.
Carmelo Anthony tied him with a game-high 29 points, 22 of which came in the first half. J.R. Smith scored 19 and provided several highlight-worthy plays with his spacey athleticism.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavs (16-30) with 24 points, but he misfired on 15 of his 25 field-goal attempts and tallied just three assists. Luol Deng went for a double-double with 13 and 11, and Dion Waiters scored 21 off the bench. Bennett had four points and two rebounds in 23 minutes.
The Knicks (19-27) got strong play on both ends of the floor as they vexed Cleveland with 56.6 percent shooting from the field and 10 blocked shots on the other end. Cleveland shot just 35.6 percent. New York led by as many as 31, and Hardaway's hot shooting preserved the comfy lead after the Cavs fought to within 14 in the fourth.
The Knicks wrap up their eight-game home stand against the Miami Heat on Feb. 1. They lost the first three but have won four straight. They can tie their season-high by extending the winning streak to five.
Cleveland plays the Houston Rockets on Feb. 1, and then remains in Texas for the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 3.