‘Melo-less Knicks erase 22-point deficit, down Cavs

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points off the bench as the New York Knicks erased a 22-point deficit even without injured leading scorer Carmelo Anthony en route to a 100-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

JR Smith added 18 points, Steve Novak had 15 and Jason Kidd had 12 to help the Knicks bounce back from 99-93 loss to the Miami Heat Sunday and improve to 36-21.

The Knicks won despite losing Anthony midway through the second period after injuring his right knee.

Anthony hurt himself with 6:41 remaining in the second period and the Cavs ahead by 52-30. He appeared to trip near midcourt without contact. He then left to locker room to get examined before the Knicks announced that he would not return to the game.

Anthony, tied with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant for the NBA’s top scoring average with 28.6 points per game, finished with six points and three turnovers.

No Knicks starter submitted double-digit scoring, with Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton scoring just eight apiece. However, Chandler had nine boards and Felton tallied 10 dimes for New York.

The loss spoiled the return of All-Star guard Kyrie Irving from a three-game absence due to a hyperextended knee. He finished with 22, five rebounds and six assists for the Cavaliers, who dropped to 20-40 after back-to-back losses

Power forward Marreese Speights scored 21 of his 23 points in the first half, Tristan Thompson had 14, CJ Miles scored 11, Alonzo Gee had 10 while Walton had 12 assists for the Cavaliers.

Behind Speights’ 10-for-10 shooting from the field and Walton’s nine assists in the first half, the Cavaliers stormed to a 52-30 lead even with Anthony on the floor.

When Anthony went out, Stoudemire went to work, sparking a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 12.

With two minutes left in the first half, Felton found Chandler for an alley-oop shot to bring the Knicks within nine before the Cavaliers took a 61-49 lead at the break.

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