NBA: Knicks rely on defense to get past Cavaliers
Jalen Brunson scored 23 points and Julius Randle had 18 points and eight rebounds as the New York Knicks snapped a five-game home losing streak with a 92-81 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.
RJ Barrett had 15 points for New York, which led wire-to-wire for its first home win since Nov. 11. Immanuel Quickley scored 12 points, and Isaiah Hartenstein had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Donovan Mitchell led Cleveland with 23 points and Darius Garland added 17, while Evan Mobley tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds. Cedi Osman had 10 points for the Cavaliers, who shot 34.9 percent from the field and 8 of 35 (22.9 percent) from 3-point range.
New York led by as many as 18 in the first half and held an 84-71 advantage with seven minutes remaining. Mitchell scored with 2:10 left to cut the deficit to five before the Knicks regained control with six straight points.
Mitchell Robinson had a game-high 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who won despite shooting just 5 of 29 (17.2 percent) from beyond the arc.
Whole Team Effort 💪
1️⃣1️⃣ 23 PTS | 4 REB
3️⃣0️⃣ 18 PTS | 9 REB
9️⃣ 15 PTS | 8 REB pic.twitter.com/afXKKpF4Ye
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 5, 2022
New York opened with a strong start for the second straight game and led 23-16 after limiting Cleveland to 6 of 23 (26.1 percent) shooting in the first quarter.
The Knicks blew a 15-point lead in Saturday’s 121-100 loss to the Dallas Mavericks and struggled to protect an early lead again one day later.
New York led 37-19 midway through the second quarter before Cleveland closed the half on a 24-9 run to pull within 46-43 at the break.
Brunson had 15 points in the first half to lead all scorers. The teams shot a combined 7 of 37 (18.9 percent) from 3-point range in the opening half.
After scoring three points in the first half, Barrett had 12 points in the third quarter to help put the Knicks ahead 71-63.
The choppy game had a total of 13 traveling violations called by the officials, which marks a season high for the league.
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