Road-weary Cavs tumble 106-86 to the Knicks
CLEVELAND (AP) — Marcus Morris Sr. and Julius Randle each scored 19 points and the New York Knicks used a strong second half to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-86 Monday night.
New York trailed by one at halftime in a matchup between teams at the bottom of the standings but took over in the third quarter, outscoring Cleveland 30-14.
The Knicks led 79-64 going into the fourth and pushed the margin to 21 in the final minutes. The Cavaliers shot a season-low 34% and scored 36 points in the second half.
Both teams are 12-32 and lead only Atlanta in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland, coming off a six-game trip, has lost five in a row and 10 of 12.
Reggie Bullock, Bobby Portis and Damyean Dotson each scored 12 points for New York, which had lost eight of nine.
Tristan Thompson had 22 rebounds and 13 points for Cleveland. Collin Sexton scored 17 points, and Cedi Osman had 14.
The Knicks scored 11 straight points during a 17-4 run in the third quarter to take a 66-54 lead. Morris hit a 3-pointer and turned an ankle after coming down on Kevin Love’s foot. Love was called for a foul, which was upgraded to a flagrant 1 after a review. Morris made the free throw to complete the four-point play.
The game was close in the first half, which had seven ties and 10 lead changes. Larry Nance Jr. hit a 3-pointer prior to the buzzer giving Cleveland a 50-49 lead at halftime.
The Cavaliers dressed 10 players, including two called up from the G-League, due to injuries and illness. Cleveland went 2-4 on its extended trip and blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter Saturday in Chicago.
Knicks: G Dennis Smith Jr. (strained left oblique), who missed his 13th straight game, will be re-evaluated later this week. The third-year pro was injured on Dec. 23 against Washington. … Rookie G RJ Barrett (sprained right ankle) was inactive for the second game in a row.
Cavaliers: C John Henson (sore back) and G Brandon Knight (sore left knee) were out. … C Ante Zizic (illness) missed his fifth straight game. … F Tyler Cook was signed to a second 10-day contract. … F Alfonzo McKinnie’s 10-day contract expired Sunday. … G Matt Mooney, signed to a two-way contract last week, scored his first career basket in the fourth quarter.
Knicks: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Cavaliers: Host Washington on Thursday.