WHAT IT MEANS: It doesn't matter who's in uniform for either team. The Knicks just can't beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Knicks lost their third game to the Cavs this season -- and their 11th straight overall to Cleveland -- Friday night in excruciating fashion. A Knicks defense that, in the words of Bart Scott, couldn't stop a nose bleed allowed Cleveland to rebound from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit in New York's 119-115 loss the 12-win Cavaliers.
The Cavs won for the fourth time in 30 road games and the Knicks lost for the third time in five games. They are 3-3 since the Carmelo Anthony trade and 0-2 against the Cavs with Anthony.
TURNING POINT: After Ramon Sessions converted a layup with 3:27 to play, the teams traded baskets over the next two minutes. It looked like the Knicks were taking control when Shawne Williams hit a 3-pointer with 1:28 to play, but the shot was waved off when Anthony was whistled for an offensive foul. Cavs guard Anthony Parker answered an Amare Stoudemire runner with a 3-pointer from the corner to put Cleveland up 113-112.
Baron Davis then drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put Cleveland up 116-112 with 10.6 seconds to play. Stoudemire knocked down a three with eight seconds to go to cut the lead to one. With the Knicks down two following a Sessions free throw, Anthony drove to the hoop and was whistled for an offensive foul, effectively ending a frustrating night for New York.
DIFFERENCE MAKERS: The Cavs had six players in double figures, led by J.J. Hickson's 23 points. Former Celtics benchwarmer Luke Harangody had 18. So did Baron Davis, who was making his Cavaliers debut. Cavs rookie and Queens native Samardo Samuels had 15.
The Knicks got 41 from Stoudemire and an efficient 29 from Anthony (10-of-16 shooting), but Anthony couldn't lift the Knicks in the final minute. Landry Fields had 17, but the Knicks allowed the Cavs to shoot 50 percent and hit 12 of 21 3-pointers.
BILLUPS, TURIAF BANGED UP: Chauncey Billups sat out his second straight game with a bruised left thigh. Ronny Turiaf was sidelined with a sore left knee. It's unclear when either player will return, but coach Mike D'Antoni hopes to have Billups back for the Sunday night game in Atlanta. Turiaf said before the game that his knee felt "fine."
WHAT’S NEXT: The Knicks travel to Atlanta to take on the sixth-place Hawks. They trail Atlanta by 5½ games in the conference standings. The last time the Knicks played in Phillips Arena, they lost to the Hawks and lost Shawne Williams for a game for his role in an altercation with Marvin Williams. The Atlanta game starts a stretch in which the Knicks play 15 games in 25 days, including five sets of back-to-back games.