Knicks completely overwhelmed by elite Cavs defense in Game 2

knicks, rj barrett
Apr 18, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) drives to the basket against New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) during the second half of game two of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks dropped Game 2 of their best-of-seven first-round series against the Cavaliers on Tuesday 107-90, losing in a relatively comfortable fashion, not really withstanding any chance beyond the first half.

Julius Randle was the Knicks’ leading scorer with 22 points but only shot 8-20 from the field. Jalen Brunson also netted in an inefficient 20-point performance, shooting just 5-17 from the field.

The stifling Cavaliers’ defense held the Knicks to an atrocious 36.7% from the field and 24.1% from three-point range. Needless to say, this is a game the Knicks will want to forget about.

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The Knicks did not have much of a chance after the first half:

After leading 22-20 late in the first quarter, the Knicks would surrender their lead and never reclaim it. They would ultimately enter the half down 59-39, and Cavs guard Darius Garland scored 26 of his 32 points in the first half.

The Knicks never put up much of a fight to claw their way back into it. They would finish the game with more turnovers (17) than assists (16), and their poor shooting percentages led to their demise.

Fortunately for the Knicks, they still have the advantage in this series, thanks to winning Game 1 on the road. Games 3 and 4 will be played at Madison Square Garden, and with the series currently knotted at 1-1, New York has a great chance to head back to Cleveland up 3-1 in the series.

“They just played better,” Jalen Brunson said of the Cavs after the game. “We’ve just got to come back on Friday, stick together the next couple of days, and get ready to go.”

The Knicks will have a few days to not only shake off the bad loss but give proper rest to Randle and Josh Hart, both of whom have dealt with sprained ankles within the past week. They will look to bounce back in a big way on Friday for Game 3 at MSG.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_