Ricky Rubio came off the bench and dropped a career-high 37 points, including eight 3-pointers, to help the Cleveland Cavs defeat the New York Knicks 126-109.

Knicks Cleveland Cavs Ricky Rubio 37 points NBA High Guys
Cleveland Cavs backup guard Ricky Rubio put on a shooting clinic against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday evening. (Image: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty)

Rubio had an efficient evening, scoring 37 points in only 31 minutes as a reserve. He shot 13-for-19 from the field, including a blistering 8-for-9 from 3-point range. He also dished 10 assists in the victory.

NBA High Guys
Points Minutes FG 3PT Assists
Ricky Rubio 37 31 13-19 8-9 10

The Cavs currently sit in first place in the NBA Central, which is amazing considering oddsmakers pegged them as long shots at +15000 odds to win the division.

The Cavs are the surprise team in the NBA after a 7-4 start in the first two weeks of the season. Rubio is one of a handful of veterans on a young and talented squad of players that could finally lead the Cavs out of the Eastern Conference cellar.

Rubio Burns Knicks for 37 Points

In an era where coaches start small-ball lineups or employ a triple-guard offense, the Cavs are old school and opt for a bigger lineup with the many talented centers/power forwards at their disposal, such as Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Kevin Love, and Lauri Markannen.

Darius Garland and Collin Sexton are the starting backcourt for the Cavs, but Rubio can play both guard positions and fill in for either starter while logging similar minutes to Sexton (28 mpg) as a reserve.

The Knicks’ defense initially left Rubio open and forced him to beat them. After Rubio knocked down a couple of treys, the Knicks tried to play better defense on him, yet they couldn’t stop his sniping abilities. He finished with eight 3-pointers and just one miss.

“When the ball goes in it seems like you’re running the right plays,” said Rubio. “But it’s not about scoring. It’s about the right path, the right way every time.”

After the 37 points against the Knicks, Rubio now averages 13.7 points per game off the bench for the Cavs. He didn’t contribute much offense in the four previous games in which he tallied 24 total points, including one night he was shut out in the scoring department with zero points on 0-for-7 shooting in a close win against the Portland Trail Blazers last Wednesday.

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