Knicks come out flat in 126-109 loss to Cavaliers

Head coach John-Blair Bickerstaff of the Cleveland Cavaliers yells to his players during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Jason Miller/Getty Images/TNS)
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Sarah Valenzuela New York Daily News (TNS)

NEW YORK — As much as the crowd at the Garden looked puzzled, so did the Knicks, who finished their Sunday with a 126-109 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This, just two nights after beating the reigning champion Bucks on their own turf.

The Knicks couldn’t seem to get out of their own way all night. In the second half, no matter how many open looks they had, they struggled actually getting shots to fall. To make matters even worse, they also had a 6-foot-2, 190-pound problem named Ricky Rubio — the Cav’s guard with a career 30% accuracy from three-point range, who came off the bench Sunday and shot 8-of-9 from downtown with a career-high 37 points.

Immanuel Quickley caught fire in the fourth quarter, picking up the pace of the game to his and the Knicks’ advantage. It was Quickley’s pullup jumper midway through the quarter that got the Knicks back within seven, after being down as many as 13 to start the fourth. Quickley finished 12 points, five assists, one rebound and one steal. And Randle delivered a crowd re-energizing block of a Jarrett Allen’s atempted dunk, drawing a foul on the play with over four minutes left to play.

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None of that mattered in the grand scheme of their game, especially when the Cavs pulled away for a 15-point lead with less than a minute left. And despite Randle’s 19 points, he still went just 7-of-17 from the field and 1-of-5 from deep.

Perhaps it’s time for some team-wide self-reflection.

The Knicks will have a short turnaround before their next chance to get it together: a Monday night showdown with the 76ers in Philadelphia.

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