For more than a full half of basketball, the New York Knicks seemed stuck in the All Star break.
A 17-point deficit in the second quarter of Wednesday night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers (13-20) put the Knicks (18-18) in an early hole, but a 34-point turnaround in the second half culminated in a 120-103 win at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 22 points and also added five rebounds and four assists, while Jeremy Lin began the second half of the season on a strong note with 19 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and only one turnover.
Trailing 61-49 at halftime, the Knicks spurred their comeback by outscoring the Cavaliers 33-19 in the third quarter. Steve Novak was especially critical in bringing New York Back, adding 17 points off the bench on 6-for-9 shooting (5-for-8 from 3-point range). Tyson Chandler notched his 12th double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds, while also playing inspired defense for the great majority of his 31 minutes on the floor.
Along with Chandler, Amare Stoudemire's 14 points gave New York a strong inside presence. The Knicks outscored the Cavaliers 68-46 in points in the paint, though New York was also able to push the ball up and down the court in the second half. The Knicks scored 17 fast break points to the Cavaliers' 10, and Cleveland's 17 turnovers played a significant role in that disparity. Chandler finished with three steals (as well as four blocks), while Iman Shumpert also added three with heavy on-ball pressure.
For Cleveland, Antawn Jamison scored a game-high 23 points while Kyrie Irving added 22 with seven assists.
The Knicks have the rest of the week off before traveling to Boston to play the Celtics Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.