Tonight’s first half between the Knicks and Cavaliers inspired a bit of feeling that the Knicks might really be here: that their young talent could gel well enough to take down a top-tier talent like Cleveland, that Frank Ntilikina could be bold enough to shove LeBron around a little, that the team could show this year to be the one where they transcend their status as punchline. But like most feelings based on one half of one game, these ones aged kinda poorly. That was due in large part to Kyle Korver’s performance off the bench in the fourth quarter, with 19 points to seal Cleveland’s come-from-behind victory.
In fairness, those aforementioned feelings were really based on three quarters, rather than one half: in the closing minutes of the third, the Knicks led by as many as 23 points. And then came the fourth. The Cavaliers exploded for 46 points, as Korver lit up and LeBron kicked into high gear alongside him. All semblance of defense for the Knicks faded out as the Cavs breezed past them for a 104-101 win. Korver had scored just two points in the three quarters prior, going 0-for-4 from three, but everything was clicking for him in the fourth. His skills as a three-point specialist were on full display, leaving him 5-of-8 from beyond the arc in the quarter:
It’s the second straight game in which Korver has come up with a big final quarter—on Saturday, he scored all 13 of his points in the fourth as the Cavaliers beat the Mavericks. Tonight, it was just a little bigger and a little more-needed.