Mitchell Robinson was asked if Cavs players were hesitant to go to the rim.
“You saw that. They got shook up.”
(Mitch then grabbed his arms like he was shivering).
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) April 22, 2023
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.
No NBA team had scored fewer than 80 points in a game since the Trail Blazers did it in April of last year — until tonight, when the Knicks held the Cavaliers to 79.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) April 22, 2023
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.