Jarrett Jack scores 31 as Cavs conquer the Garden.
There were seven games on the NBA schedule on Sunday night, with the New York Knicks suffering a potentially fatal blow in their bid to make the playoffs.
Despite leading by 17 points in the first half, the Knicks were unable to maintain their level in the second as Jarrett Jack scored 31 points to prevent them from making further ground in the playoff race.
Guard J.R. Smith conceded after the game that it was a “huge opportunity lost” and one that they can’t afford, but they will need to regroup and bounce back immediately ahead of a five-game road trip of the West.
Carmelo Anthony finished the game with 32 points but missed all five shots in the final quarter as the Knicks slip to 29-41, but after the Atlanta Hawks lost in Toronto, there is still a three-game gap between the two.
As mentioned above, the Hawks were unable to extend their lead after suffering a disappointing loss against the Raptors, in a game in which they surrendered a 14-point lead in the final period.
Kyle Lowry had 25 points while Jonas Valaciunas added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the hosts, who maintained their lead over the Chicago Bulls for the third seed but simultaneously asked more questions of the Hawks.
The Knicks now visit Los Angeles, Sacramento, Phoenix, Golden State and Utah which would appear a particularly difficult schedule given that they are desperately pushing for playoff basketball.
However, they will be buoyed by the fact that Atlanta also face a tough next week or so, as they have Phoenix, @ Minnesota, Portland, @ Washington and Philadelphia ahead in the next five games.
Over in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves could potentially have seen their biggest chance of making a legitimate run for a playoff spot end with defeat to rivals the Phoenix Suns.
Kevin Love had 36 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists in a glittering performance, but it wasn’t enough as the Sun overcame a 22-point deficit to move within a half-game of both the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks.
Dallas were also in action on Sunday, but they were unable to go some way in cementing their playoff spot after losing in overtime to the Brooklyn Nets.
Joe Johnson had 22 points which included the lay-up in regulation and the go-ahead three pointer in OT to lead the Nets, who are now firmly pushing for a top three finish this season.
Atlanta Hawks 86-96 Toronto Raptors
Phoenix Suns 127-120 Minnesota Timberwolves
Washington Wizards 102-105 Denver Nuggets
Milwaukee Bucks 107-124 Sacramento Kings
Brooklyn Nets 107-104 Dallas Mavericks
Cleveland Cavaliers 106-100 New York Knicks
Orlando Magic 94-103 Los Angeles Lakers