Mon, 22 Oct 2018

Cavs erase 24-point deficit, jolt Knicks

Sports Xchange
14 Nov 2017, 13:45 GMT+10

NEW YORK -- LeBron James had 23 points and came one rebound short of a triple-double as the Cleveland Cavaliers stormed back from a 24-point deficit to defeat the host New York Knicks 104-101 on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

James hit a step-back, 27-foot 3-pointer to put the Cavs up by three with 1 minute, 23 seconds left in the game, the final dagger in an 8-0 Cleveland run to complete a rousing comeback. James finished with 12 assists and nine rebounds, and Kyle Korver added 21 points for the Cavs.

New York led by as much as 24 in the third quarter before heading into the fourth up 15 and still led by double figures with 6:53 remaining. Cleveland put on the defensive clamps late, though, and the Cavs hit four 3-pointers in the last 4:35, including two by Korver, to upend the previously hot Knicks.

The Knicks entered the game with some extra energy after James on Saturday questioned the team's June selection of rookie guard Frank Ntilikina over Dallas' Dennis Smith Jr. in the NBA Draft. Enes Kanter came to his teammate's rescue in a social-media post and in follow-up interviews, then rescued the rest of the Knicks early with Kristaps Porzingis facing foul trouble and generally ineffective.

Porzingis finished with 20 points, albeit on 7-of-21 shooting, but Kanter was a force on the offensive end and on the glass, scoring 20 points while grabbing 16 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 28 points to lead the Knicks in scoring, and added 10 rebounds.

Facing a Cavaliers team that looked discombobulated on offense early, the Knicks had 10 first-half steals -- including five by James' target Ntilikina -- and forced 12 turnovers, including five by James and three by former Knick Iman Shumpert.

Cleveland cleaned up their offense down the stretch, though, as its outside game came alive. After shooting 2 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half, the Cavs went 14 of 28 from long distance in the second half.

Cleveland, which was without point guard Derrick Rose -- who could be out an extended period with an ankle injury -- dominated New York in bench scoring. Behind Korver and Dwyane Wade's 15 points off the bench, the Cavs' reserves outscored the Knicks', 54-16.

NOTES: Cleveland's win evened the season series at one game apiece. New York snapped a 10-game losing streak in the series on Oct. 29 in a 114-95 win. ... The two teams don't play each other again until early April, when they have a home-and-home in New York and Cleveland on April 9 and 11. ... New York's Joakim Noah returned from a 20-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs on Monday, but was inactive for the game as Jeff Hornacek wants to bring him along slowly. ... The Cavaliers cap a four-game road trip on Wednesday at Charlotte.

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