Madison Square Garden is known for a variety of events. Some of the world’s biggest music stars choose the Garden as their venue when they perform in New York City. Some of boxing’s most classic fights have been staged here – including the first bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. But above all else, the Garden is known as the “Mecca of Basketball”. You can feel the rich history of the Garden as soon as you walk in the door. Our New York City personal injury lawyers try to check out at least a few games per year here, and a couple weeks ago went to see one of the season’s marquee matchups vs. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The electricity is always at a higher level when LeBron is in the building, and this game was no different.
First Quarter – The Knicks Hang Tough
The two teams had almost identical records at the time of this matchup, at 7-7 for the Cavs and 7-6 for the Knicks. But while the Knicks were feeling optimistic about their over .500 start, the Cavs were falling far short of expectations. In the first quarter, the Knicks set out to prove that they could hang with the defending Eastern Conference Champions. The two teams went back and forth throughout the 12 minutes before the Cavs finished the period up 25-22.
Second Quarter – The Knicks Build A Lead
The Knicks fed off the energy from an altercation between LeBron and Enes Kanter at the end of the first quarter as the game moved into the second. The defense held the Cavs to just 13 points in the quarter, forcing turnovers and piling on points in fast breaks. By halftime, New York had built a respectable 51-38 lead as they headed to the locker room.
Third Quarter – A Knicks Blowout?
The Knicks’ hot shooting night continued in the 3rd quarter, and the Cavs’ shooting woes from the third quarter bled into most of the fourth. New York was hitting shots all over the floor, from the three-point line to easy dunks in the paint. At one point, the lead swelled to 23 points approaching the end of the quarter, and some Knick fans started to think blowout.
Fourth Quarter – LeBron & Korver Heat Up
As any astute Knick fan should know, no lead is safe when LeBron James is on the other team. The Knicks led by 15 at the start of the quarter, before LeBron, Korver, Wade, and the rest of the Cavs began to heat up on offense and hunker down on defense. Korver absolutely torched the Knickerbockers this quarter – piling on a jaw-dropping 19 points while draining three after merciless three. LeBron continued to run the offense through himself – barrelling into the paint, backing down defenders, making pinpoint passes for wide-open threes, knocking down a couple threes of his own, and snatching tough rebounds.
Knicks fans watched in horror as what looked like a triumphant home-team victory in the third slowly transitioned into another epic Garden performance from James and his teammates. While the Knicks’ young talent should give fans hope for the future, this game showed that we’ve got a long way to go before we reach the King’s level as a championship contender.