NEW YORK – All of that good will the New York Knicks built over their eight-game winning streak?
You can kiss it good bye.
The Knicks blew a 17-point lead to a Cavs team that was without Kyrie Irving on Sunday night. In the process, they wasted a chance to pull within two games of eighth-place Atlanta, which had lost earlier in the day.
The Knicks actually cut Cleveland’s lead to four with less than a minute to play, but Jarrett Jack finished them off with a step back jumper with 24.7 seconds to play.
Carmelo Anthony turned the ball over on the ensuing possession thanks to an offensive foul.
Jack finished with a career-high 31 points and 10 assists, continually torching Raymond Felton.
The Knicks could have used perimeter defender Iman Shumpert to matchup with Jack, but Shumpert was unavailable due to flu-like symptoms.
The Knicks trail Atlanta by 2½ games with 12 games to play. They trailed Atlanta by four games with 14 to go. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one NBA team in the past 30 years has rebounded from a deficit of four or more games with 14 to play and made the playoffs. The loss on Sunday snapped New York’s season-high, eight-game winning streak.
Anthony off late: Anthony led the Knicks with 32 points. He started the game off red hot, hitting six of his first seven shots. But he missed 11 of his last 13 and went 0-for-5 in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks as a whole went cold late. They led by 15 at the half thanks to 59 percent shooting. They also knocked down eight of 12 3-point attempts.
But the Knicks missed 13 of 18 shots in the fourth quarter to let a much-needed win slip away. They shot 4-for-15 from beyond the arc in the second half.
Cleveland had lost 11 of its last 15 entering Sunday’s game and had been without Irving (biceps injury) for the past two weeks.
Where’s Tyson: Tyson Chandler didn’t play a major role on either end of the floor Sunday. He finished with four points, six rebounds and four turnovers in 36 minutes. Amar'e Stoudemire had 12 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes, and J.R. Smith added 18 points but missed his final five 3-point attempts.
What’s next: The Knicks will take on the Lakers Tuesday to kick off a five-game road trip.
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