For the first time in a decade, the New York Knicks have won a playoff series.

The Knicks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 on Wednesday, 106-95, to win their series, 4-1. It’s also only his second win in the series since 2000.

New York led as much as 18 in the third quarter, but Cleveland cut it to a six-point deficit with just over eight minutes to go, but that’s as close as they got. New York responded with a 6-0 run to make up a dozen, and by the time Cleveland cut it back to single digits, it was too late.

New York reached the playoffs in the 2020-21 season but fell to the Atlanta Hawks in five games. The following season was a disappointment as they missed the postseason for the eighth time in nine years.


Obi Toppin #1 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket during Game 5 of Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 26, 2023 at Madison Square Garden in New York City , NY. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

However, Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson have carried the Knicks all year. In the regular season, Randle put up 25.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, earning him his second All-Star through a love-hate relationship Knicks fans have with him.

But Brunson has been perhaps the best free agent signing in the NBA this season. The guard came to New York after spending his first four seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and put up the best numbers of his career. His 24.0 points, 41.6 3-point percentage and 6.2 assists in regular seasons were all career highs for him. He also averaged 24.0 in the series.

The win didn’t come without a big blow, as Randle re-aggravated a sprained ankle that kept him out of the Knicks’ final five regular-season games. Randle struggled in this series, averaging just 14.8 points per game in the first four games of the series (he was 13 when he left the game in the second half).

Jalen Brunson vs. the Cavs

Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks looks to pass the ball during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 5 of Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2023 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio . (David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)


New York knocked out Donovan Mitchell and his team despite an aggressive pursuit of the guard in the offseason. The Knicks were the favorites to land the New York native from the Utah Jazz, and Mitchell has said he thought he would go to Manhattan until he was traded to Cleveland; New York eventually backed down when they felt the compensation was too high.

But RJ Barrett, who Utah wanted in trade, played a vital role in knocking out the player they almost traded him for. The 22-year-old, who has received criticism all year after a four-year, $100 million contract extension, is averaging 22.0 points in the last three games of the series; he scored just seven in Game 1. Brunson led the Knicks with 23 points.

Filling in for Randle, Obi Toppin scored 12 points, and Mitchell Robinson was also a threat in the Cup, scoring 13 points and grabbing 18 rebounds.

The Knicks will face the winner of the series Milwaukee Bucks-Miami Heat: Miami, the eighth seed, is about to defeat the Bucks, who lead their series, 3-1.

RJ Barrett vs. Darius Garland

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) defends New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) in the first quarter during Game 5 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)


Now New York awaits its opponent for a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, which it hasn’t done in 23 years.