James, Korver spark Cavs surge

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS -

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 3-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. Else­where, Washington rammed past Sacra­mento, 110-92; Mil­wau­kee stopped Mem­phis, 110-103; New Or­leans edged At­lanta, 106-105; Min­nesota downed Utah, 109-98; Port­land crushed Den­ver, 99-82; Golden State whipped Or­lando, 110-100; the Philadel­phia 76ers nipped the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers, 109-105; and Los An­ge­les Lak­ers de­feated the Phoenix Suns, 100-93. Back in New York, Cleve­land outscored the host, 43-25, in the fourth, mak­ing more 3s 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.

EPA

New York Knicks’ Enes Kan­ter (left) con­fronts Cleve­land Cava­liers’ LeBron James dur­ing the first half of their NBA game at the Madi­son Square Gar­den.

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