The New York Knicks and fans were feeling pretty good about themselves for most of the team’s Monday-night home matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Right up until the final 14 minutes, when LeBron James led his squad to a 23-point comeback.
Late in the first quarter, both Enes Kanter and Frank Ntilikina, the rookie LeBron threw shade at over the weekend, got into shoving spats with the four-time MVP.
LeBron James and Enes Kanter get in a little scuffle. pic.twitter.com/XlLBqH0Z7c
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) November 14, 2017
In the third quarter, the Knicks’ lead swelled beyond 20 points. Fans let LeBron—whose Cleveland Cavaliers entered the night with a record of 6-7—know by chanting the name of his former teammate, whose Boston Celtics sit atop the East with a 12-2 record.
MSG faithful now chanting “Kyrie Irving”
— Michael Pina (@MichaelVPina) November 14, 2017
They spoke too soon.
James checked into the game with 11 minutes remaining and scored seven points and tossed eight assists to spearhead a 23-point comeback for the Cavs.
He also nailed this huge stepback late.
LeBron hits the three over Porzingis to take the tide and complete the 23 point comeback 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/56dqi9eV4H
— NBA (@NBAEVERYTHlNG) November 14, 2017
“He’s a rookie. You call yourself ‘King’ or whatever,” Kanter said of LeBron after the loss. “But you can’t just mess with a rookie like that. If you’re going to mess with [someone], go mess with the grown men. I’ll die for my teammates. Whatever happens, I got my teammates’ back because I see this team, this organization, like my family. Nobody is going to mess with it. … I don’t care who you are. What do you call yourself, ‘King,’ ‘Queen,’ ‘Princess,’ whatever you are. We’re going to fight. Nobody out there is going to punk us”
James responded: “Well, I’m the King, my wife is the Queen and my daughter’s the Princess, so we’ve got all three covered.”
Of course, he couldn’t resist taking yet another shot at former Knicks president Phil Jackson.
“They’re playing some good basketball,” James said of the Knicks. “I think Jeff, the coach, Jeff Hornacek is finally—with the release of the old fella, he’s finally allowed to implement what he wants to do on the team and he’s showing it’s very effective.”