He shot 5 of 6 from the foul line, compared to the Knicks' 4 of 5.
"He can shoot 0-for-30," he said. "I don't care. I know he's a great shooter and can score points in bunches."
The Knicks narrowed an 18-point deficit down to one point, 53-52, early in the third quarter. That is when Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson responded with a dazzling, one-handed, follow slam with 8:26 left in the third.
"Whenever there are big-time plays, it gets us going and the crowd gets into it," Thompson said. "I did take it out on the rim. Sorry."
"We have to keep our foot on the pedal," Thompson said.
The Knicks are now losers of 11 of their last 13 games.
"We're playing cool basketball right now," Knicks guard J.R. Smith said. "It's not working for us. We have to get our hands dirty and do what it takes to win it."
"He's tough," he said. "One-on-one, he's tough. He causes havoc on anybody and tonight he was making shots all over the place."
"It's just like kicking a man when he's down," he said. "That's what it felt like."
They also pushed the Knicks around on the boards, 38-31.
Brown's message to the starters at the start of the second half was to take care of the basketball.
"The starting group did a nice job taking care of the basketball in the third quarter," he said.
NOTES: The Knicks were missing two key frontcourt players: C Tyson Chandler (non-displaced fracture of the right fibula) and F Kenyon Martin (sore left ankle). F Metta World Peace made his first start for New York. ... Chandler is back practicing in non-contact drills. The earliest he could return is 10 days to two weeks. ... Cavaliers coach Mike Brown dabbled with using the three-guard lineup at times this year with Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack, even though he is not a fan of using undersized players. "I'm surprised how much I've used it and, at times, how affective it's been," Brown said. ... Brown said he is going with a set rotation -- finally. "I'm looking from some consistency," he said. "I'm sure they are looking for some consistency from me."