Mitchell Robinson on if Cavs were hesitant to go to rim in Game 3: ‘They got shook up’

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson said that Cleveland Cavaliers players were “shook up” in Game 3 of the first-round series between the two teams.

New York dominated the Cavs at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, holding them to just 79 points in a 99-79 win. It was the first time in the NBA all season that a team failed to score 80 points in a game.

Robinson had a big game for the Knicks defensively, blocking two shots and picking up two steals. He also scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds in the win.

Cleveland was dreadful from the field, shooting just 31-for-80 (38.8 percent), including a 7-for-33 showing from beyond the arc. New York held the Cavs to just 32 points in the first half of Friday’s game.

It was a frustrating loss for Cleveland, especially after how well it played in Game 2 at home to even the series. The team is almost certainly going to play better on offense going forward, but it now has to avoid falling down 3-1 in the series with another matchup at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.

Evan Mobley (5-for-10 from the field) and Jarrett Allen (3-for-3) weren’t too bad inside in Game 3, but guard Darius Garland (4-for-21) played one of his worst games of the season.

It’s been an up-and-down series for Garland, who led the Cavs with 32 points and seven assists in Game 2.

Robinson may want to be careful about motivating his opponents ahead of a critical Game 4, as the Cavs are in a near must-win spot. The Knicks big man has backed things up with his play so far in this series, blocking six shots in three games.

Each game in this series has been low scoring, and the Knicks have stepped up and played some of their best defense of the season through the first three contests.

Game 4 between the Cavs and Knicks is scheduled to tip off at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 23.

If Cleveland can win that game, the team would regain home-court advantage and even the series before things shift back to Cleveland for Game 5 on Wednesday, April 26.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.