Live Notes from Knicks-Cavs Game
Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden the New York Knicks hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Garden is always electric, especially when LeBron James is in the house. Below are editorialized, totally raw and unedited game notes taken by InsideHoops.com's editor live as the action happened.
We repeat: This is unedited. Which kinda makes it fun. Enjoy:
I missed most of the first quarter typing up this LeBron James interview. And when I walked to my seat and checked out the score, it was Knicks 20, Cavaliers 14 with a bit over a minute left in the first quarter. A glance at the stats revealed Eddy Curry began with 10 points. Good start. Let's see what he does the rest of the game.
Also, it appears LeBron James did nothing this quarter. Statistically, at least. Now I'm watching.
The crowd is quiet, probably wondering when the Cavs will show up.
With a few seconds left, Larry Hughes, recently activated after missing months due to finger surgery, was inserted.
End of first quarter: Knicks 22, Cavs 14. The crowd applauds, not really believing the score. A look at the stats reveals that both teams shot very badly. The Cavs committed far more turnovers than the Knicks. And the Knicks racked up more assists. Thus the score.
The Knicks City Dancers, wearing glimmer-shorts and somewhat oversized white shirts, danced to a disco classic. Yes, ladies, I'll take you to funkytown. You don't have to ask twice.
Jackie Butler operates inside and scores, plus the foul. He hits the free throw, making it 25-16 Knicks. The Cavs miss the interior defense of Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who is out with a minor ankle sprain and not playing in this game.
At 9:11, the Knicks go inside, miss, but Jackie Butler cleans the glass, plus the foul. He hits the free throw. Knicks up 12. Cleveland needs interior defense, right now.
LeBron James takes a seat on the bench. He's been quiet.
There aren't a lot of celebs here, that I can see. Apparently some American Idol dude is here. And a bunch of supermodels. Wherever I go, supermodels follow. But that's another story.
Flip Murray is hitting buckets. He has six points.
The Knicks get a fast break. Steve Francis dishes to Nate Robinson, who had an open layup, but slowed up to try to dunk it and perhaps draw a foul, and he wound up getting rejected by Larry Hughes.
Then, Hughes hit a jumper. Knicks up, 33-22.
During a timeout, some acrobat group came out, bouncing and flipping all around the court to the "Peanut Butter Jelly!" song. They're all flipping, breakdancing and jumping at the same time -- not one at a time as per the norm. The amusing part was a big fat guy standing centercourt, sort of dancing and conducting. He's the man.
NY Ranger Darius Kasparaitis is in the house. Yes, I had to look up the spelling of his last name. I'm no hockey expert.
The Knicks keep getting to the rim. Cavs paint defense is lousy today.
LeBron James has four points, three assists, no rebounds with 4:05 left in the first half.
No sooner typed then LeBron hits a deep three.
As badly as the Cavs have played, they're just down 12, and it feels like they can easily come back if they wake up.
It's almost halftime, and I'm trying to decide if I want to go spend $8.75 on the arena's deal of chicken fingers and french fries. I'd do it if I knew for a fact I'd also be able to get barbeque or honey sauce for the chicken, but they usually just have honey-mustard, which is OK but unspectacular.
LeBron penetrates and dishes inside to Drew Gooden for a dunk. The Knicks are only up eight.
End of first half: Knicks 48, Cavs 37.
I chose not to buy any food. The risk of the chicken fingers without the proper sauce was too much to bear.
Drew Gooden has 17 points and six rebounds, with half the third quarter gone by and the Knicks up 58-49. He hit a nice high-arc jumper with a defender in his face.
Timeout. And the Knicks City Dancers are back out, wearing tight orange pants and little blue tops. The song is the one with "I like the way you move!" as the chorus. Another terrific performance.
Jamal Crawford is putting on a show. He has 21 points and is getting to the rim at will.
The Knicks have 42 points in the paint, compared to just 18 for the Cavs. That's the story of the game.
At 1:43 in the third, the Knicks are up 70-55.
End of third quarter: Knicks 74, Cavs 57.
The Knicks City Dancers are back for a third performance, wearing the same outfits, shaking it to an upbeat hip-hop dance hybrid song. They are on top of their game tonight.
A couple of three-pointers from LeBron James mid fourth quarter pulled the Cavs to within 12. Then an offensive foul by Jamal Crawford. And another three by LeBron, who now has 27 points. It's a nine point game with 7 minutes left. But Crawford hits a three. Then LeBron drives and gets fouled. Then Crawford scores again - Knicks up 12 with 5:40 to go. Fans are happy. The Knicks call timeout.
During the timeout, they play the Cotton Eyed Joe song, and a famous Knicks fan that no one knows the name of -- a bald middle-aged guy -- dances like a crazed lunatic (on purpose) to the song. It's a regular occurance. He's great.
LeBron James, red hot in the fourth, continues to pour it on. And Flip Murray made a few clutch shots as well. The Cavs proceeded to turn a 19 point Knicks lead into a tie game at 91 all with 1:15 left.
The two teams exchanged leads. And then, with under 10 seconds left and the score tied, Crawford dribbled, guarded tightly by Larry Hughes, drove, and put up a tough jumper, swishing it right in Hughes' eye, putting the Knicks up two with 6.4 seconds left. Fans erupt. Timeout Cavs.
And, the final play of the game: LeBron is isolated in three-point range at the top of the key, penetrates, probably could have gotten a shot off but instead dishes to Larry Hughes in the left corner, who misses at the buzzer.
Player of the game: Jamal Crawford, with a season-high 37 points.
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