Knicks finish off Cavs 106-95, advance to second round for the first time since 2013
The Knicks are headed to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013! The Knicks dominated the Cavs 106-95 in Cleveland, winning the series 4-1. Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett led the way with 23 and 21 points respectively.
Brunson’s dad, Knicks assistant coach Rick Brunson, played for the Knicks between 1999-2001. It was a special night for the Brunson family as Jalen celebrated his first playoff series win for the same team where his dad played.
Despite Donovan Mitchell’s 28 points, the Cavs never got closer than seven points in the final minutes. Immanuel Quickley made all four of his free throw attempts down the stretch and the Cavs didn’t score until the final buzzer.
“I think the way this team plays, it resonates with all our fans. They play hard, they play smart and they play together. And I think if you do that in New York, it’s always recognized.”
– Tom Thibodeau
The Knicks took control of the game early, leading 38-26 in the second quarter and never looked back. They were able to maintain their lead despite losing Julius Randle who reinjured his left ankle in the second quarter. Randle landed awkwardly after contesting a shot by Caris Levert and finished the game with 13 points before walking off the court.
Obi Toppin replaced Randle and scored 12 points, including a three-pointer to open up the second half, giving the Knicks a 64-51 lead.
Mitchell Robinson was a beast on the boards, grabbing 18 rebounds including 11 offensive rebounds and scoring 13 points. Robinson and Josh Hart combined for 30 rebounds, as many as the entire Cavaliers roster.
Quickley led the Knicks bench with 19 points. The Knicks had 29 free throws compared to the Cavs’ 15 and outscored them in the paint 44-34 and 20-8 on fast break.
The Knicks will now face the Miami Heat in the second round with homecourt advantage. The Heat, who were the 8th seed, knocked out the Milwaukee Bucks, who were the 1st seed, 4-1 in their first-round series.
Up-next: The Knicks will host the Heat on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden from 1:00 pm