Cavaliers rally to subdue Knicks
NEWYORK— The Cleveland Cavaliers banked on Kyle Korver and LeBron James to rally past the New York Knicks, 104-101, in the NBA at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. James had 23 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, while Korver scored 19 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers clawed their way back from a 23-point hole to exact revenge over the Knicks, which earlier beat them.
NEW YORK— LeBron James got shoved by the Knicks and then benched by his coach. Neither could keep him down for good.
James had 23 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, Kyle Korver scored 19 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to spark a huge comeback, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat New York 104-101 on Monday night.
James also had a technical foul after a first-quarter altercation with Frank Ntilikina and Enes Kanter, which seemed to charge up the Knicks. But he didn’t lose his poise then or midway through the third quarter, when Tyronn Lue yanked the five starters with the Knicks on their way to a 23-point lead.
“I knew we had another half,” James said. “Didn’t know that I was going to get snatched like that early in the third, but I felt if I got back in I could still make some plays to help our team win.”
He did, hitting two of the Cavaliers’ nine three-pointers in the fourth after they made just seven through three quarters and helping the Cavs charge back for their eighth straight victory at Madison Square Garden.
Cleveland outscored New York 43-25 in the fourth, making more threes than the Knicks had baskets (8). But the turnaround started late in the third with the second unit in.
“Now we just kept talking about chipping away, chipping away,” Dwyane Wade said. “And then as you saw Kyle Korver got going and then when you saw LeBron check back in, you knew, OK. You saw the waves coming.”
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Kanter added 20 points and 16 boards. But Kristaps Porzingis shot only 7 for 21 while scoring 20 points as the Knicks blew their chance to beat the Cavs for the second time this season.
The game was just two days after James, following a victory in Dallas, said Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. should be a Knick. The Knicks passed on Smith in the draft, taking Ntilikina one spot earlier at No. 8.
James said he meant it as a shot at former president Phil Jackson, and he was angry that he thought Kanter overreacted in his defense of Ntilikina. So it wasn’t surprising they were involved in an altercation late in the first quarter.
James dunked and then wouldn’t move out of the way as Ntilikina tried to take the ball back to the baseline to throw it in. Ntilikina pushed James, who then exchanged words with Kanter after he ran in. James shoved Kanter, and both were given technical fouls.
“I don’t care ... what you call yourself. King, Queen, Princess, whatever you are. You know what, we’re going to fight and nobody out there [is] going to punk us,” Kanter said. James’ response? “I’m the King, my wife is the Queen and my daughter is the Princess,” he said. “So we got all three covered.”
The Knicks got hot after that, hitting the Cavs with a 15-0 burst early in the second to open a 47-31 lead. Ntilikina and Hardaway both stole the ball from James during the run.
Cleveland made a brief run early in the third before New York extended it back to 17, when Lue made his line change. Korver said even then he was still thinking the Cavs could win.
“Absolutely,” he said. “That’s a lot of time and this is an amazing place to make a comeback in.”
Meanwhile, in Oakland, California, it was Stephen Curry’s turn to sit out a game with the same bruised thigh muscle that sidelined Kevin Durant last week.
Both games, Golden State showed off its remarkable depth, withstanding the absence of a big star.
Durant had 21 points, a season-high eight assists and seven rebounds, Shaun Livingston scored a season-best 16 points in place of the injure Curry, and the champion Warriors pulled away in the second half to beat the Orlando Magic 110-100 for their seventh straight win.
Draymond Green had a season-high 20 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Warriors completed an unbeaten four-game homestand.
Klay Thompson credited the front office for keeping the talented, loaded roster intact.
“It’s what’s been able to propel us to three straight Finals,” Thompson said. “Our depth’s been incredible.”
Nikola Vucevic scored 20 points, Evan Fournier had 16 and Aaron Gordon added 10 points and 10 rebounds in the Magic’s fourth defeat over six games.
Livingston also had six assists on a night they were without Curry as he nursed a bruised right thigh from where he took a knee Saturday night. Durant sat out with the same injury to his left leg last Wednesday against Minnesota.
Coach Steve Kerr called them similar injuries and is being cautious with two-time MVP Curry, who sat out on his bobblehead giveaway night and has only been receiving treatment on the leg without any oncourt work.
I DON’T CARE ... WHATYOU CALL YOURSELF. KING, QUEEN, PRINCESS, WHATEVER YOU ARE. YOUKNOWWHAT, WE’RE GOING TO FIGHT AND NOBODY OUT THERE (IS) GOING TO PUNK US ENES KANTER Knicks center
I’M THE KING, MYWIFE IS THE QUEENANDMYDAUGHTER IS THE PRINCESS. SOWEGOT ALL THREE COVERED LEBRON JAMES Cavaliers forward