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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Cavs 98, Knicks 90

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 20, 2012

Baron Davis sat this one out with the stomach flu. By the end of the night, there were plenty of Knicks players nauseous watching the Cavs smack them up and down the floor.

The Knicks' starters gathered 14 rebounds in about 131 minutes. Manny Harris had 12 in 41 minutes. 

The lottery ramifications of this victory can be sorted out at the end of the season. There is a lot of basketball to be played and the Cavaliers could easily win their last two games of the season. The hapless Wizards come to town on Wednesday and the Cavs play at Chicago on Thursday, but the Bulls will likely have nothing to play for by then and could easily rest everyone from Derrick Rose to the team trainers. 

After the Cavs were humiliated at Detroit, falling behind by 50 entering the fourth, Antawn Jamison insisted after the game that no one on this team had checked out. In fact, he was confident the Cavs would finish this difficult season with a flourish. 

It sounded like a strange time to be so boastful, but that's exactly what the Cavs did last season by winning their last two games and four of their final six. Much to the dismay of lottery fanatics, they could easily do something similar to close this season.

I talked to Manny Harris the other day about whether or not he was nervous when Lester Hudson was blowing up all over Cleveland. He said he wasn't, that he was always confident he'd get another chance.

Hudson is in Memphis now and Harris enjoyed his best performance of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds for his second career double-double. 

Harris, at best, is a marginal NBA player. But he played well enough tonight to likely warrant another start Sunday at San Antonio. Hudson's disappearance means more minutes for Harris in the final week, and what he does with them could help shape his future with the Cavs.

Stats

Cavs: Kyrie Irving 21 points, Manny Harris 19 points, 12 rebounds, Samardo Samuels 15 points. Knicks: Amar'e Stoudemire 15 points, Steve Novak 15 points, Carmelo Anthony 12 points, Mike Bibby 12 points.

Key stat

The Cavs outrebounded the Knicks 52-32, the first time all season they've outrebounded an opponent by at least 20.

Turning point

The Knicks went scoreless over the final 3:09 of the third quarter, allowing the Cavs to expand a 65-56 lead to 72-56 entering the fourth.

Quotable

“We really came ready to play and I thought they were not into it, for whatever reason. We took full advantage of it.” -- Coach Byron Scott

“We were communicating and really looked like a solid team. I wish we would’ve been consistent throughout the season. We’ve beaten good teams throughout the season and we’ve shown we can play with the good teams.” -- Kyrie Irving

Up next

The Cavs (21-41) play at the San Antonio Spurs (45-16) on Sunday.

 

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