The New York Knicks hope to have a short memory when they try to put a rough loss behind them Monday in a showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
New York blew a 14-point halftime lead Sunday versus the Miami Heat in a 99-93 setback at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony was hot early on, scoring 17 points in the first quarter en route to a game-best 32. Anthony was sent to the line 14 times, making 13 free throws, and J.R. Smith ended with 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.
Heat superstar LeBron James had 29 points and his layup with less than four minutes to go gave Miami a 91-87 cushion. Chris Bosh later knocked down a jumper to make it 97-91 with 1:06 to go and the Knicks never threatened from there.
"I thought that third quarter and especially in the fourth when it was crunch time, we turned it over and didn't get shots," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "They're a great team and you got to do everything right to beat that team."
The Knicks turned the ball over 18 times resulting in 20 Miami points.
"They made adjustments. We can't beat anyone when we score 34 points in a half ... it's not going to happen," Anthony said. "But, for the most part I was pleased with the effort we put out today. A couple of possessions towards the end of the game, a few turnovers ... you can't turn it over against Miami. They capitalize off guys mistakes and they did that coming down the stretch."
Jason Kidd scored 14 points in a reserve role.
New York had a three-game winning streak stopped and lost for the fifth time in eight tries. The Knicks still have a seemingly comfortable lead atop the Atlantic Division and sit third in the East standings. They will play two straight and seven of nine games on the road, and are 14-12 as the guest.
Cleveland will continue its five-game homestand and hopes to have All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in the lineup versus the Knicks. Irving has missed three straight games with a hyperextended right knee and is averaging 23.3 points and 5.6 assists this season.
"He did everything today in practice," Cavs coach Byron Scott said of Irving following Sunday's practice. "Based on what I saw today in practice there's a good chance he'll play tomorrow. We will see how he feels tomorrow after really going up and down and going a full scrimmage. And obviously that will determine whether or not he's good to go or not. But from what I saw today he looked good."
The Cavaliers suffered a 105-89 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers the last time out on Friday. They were led by Tristan Thompson's 15 points and 12 rebounds, while rookie Dion Waiters recorded 17 points for Cleveland, which had won two in a row and four of five games.
Cleveland was behind the eight ball after the Clippers opened the fourth quarter on a 22-8 run for a 99-76 advantage. Shaun Livingston made his third straight start and scored 10 points in 33 minutes.
"They have guys who can make plays. They have Chris Paul, who is a double- double guy and then you have Jamal Crawford who can score 20 points in five minutes," Thompson said. "They have guys who can make plays and make shots. That's how they get up and down the floor so quickly and score a lot of buckets."
Cavs center Tyler Zeller (illness) is questionable Monday.
Cleveland will try and regroup Monday against the Knicks. The Cavs, who own an 11-17 record as the host and are 1-1 on the current residency, are 9-2 in their last 11 games against Eastern Conference opponents, including a perfect 6-0 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Utah and Memphis are scheduled to visit the Forest City as well.
The Cavaliers dropped a 103-102 decision to the Knicks at MSG on Dec. 15 this season, but have still prevailed in 14 of the last 19 encounters between the teams. The Knicks have lost 10 straight and 11 of 12 contest at the Q.