Recap: Cavs 109, Knicks 102 (Or, HOLY CRAP THE CAVS WON.)

December 18th, 2010 by John Krolik

Overview: The Cavaliers broke their 10-game losing streak with a 109-102 overtime win over the New York Knicks. Mo Williams led the Cavs with 23 points and 14 assists, and Anderson Varejao grabbed 17 rebounds and held Amar’e Stoudemire to 8-19 shooting from the field.

OH MY GOD WE WON Bullets:

– Wow. That was awesome. It didn’t look good for the Cavs, especially since the Heat pulled a win out of their behinds just before the end of regulation — that was a bad omen, considering the concurrent streaks. But they pulled it off. Let’s break it down.

– It looked like the Knicks were on the verge of blowing the game open in the first half. They were pushing at every opportunity, capitalizing on every Cavs turnover, and making their threes. The Cavs stayed in it by pushing the break themselves and matching the Knicks shot-for-shot. The team looked comfortable in the full-court game, and Razor Ramon and JJ even had their moments.

– In the second half, the Knicks stopped making their threes, and their spacing got out of whack. Just like they did on Friday night, the Knicks responded to offensive adversity by relying on Amar’e isolations. On Friday night, Joel Anthony was able to stop Amar’e in isolation. On Saturday, Anderson Varejao made Stoudemire’s life a living hell all night long. Amar’e got his 23 points, but he needed 19 shots to get them, and he committed eight turnovers in the process. As bad as the Cavs have been defensively this season, Varejao has been bringing it all year. Not many teams run their offense through their center anymore, but every team that’s tried it against the Cavs has had serious trouble scoring on Varejao.

– While Varejao carried the defense, Mo Williams carried the offense. He hit the game-tying basket with three seconds to go, racked up assists, and absolutely carried the team in overtime when he smelled victory. He wanted this one more than the Knicks did, and now the losing streak is finally over.

– Props to Jamison and Parker as well — they were scoring from everywhere on the floor, and the Cavs needed both of them to keep up with the Knicks’ relentless offensive pace.

– That’s really all I have right now. The Knicks were a perfect matchup on a back-to-back, but even still it feels really, really good to win. Let’s see if the Cavs can actually start a winning streak now.