Hardaway, Knicks give Cavs 4th loss in 5 games, 114-95
CLEVELAND (AP) — Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 34 points, Kristaps Porzingis had 32 and the New York Knicks handed the Cleveland Cavaliers their fourth loss in five games, 114-95 on Sunday night.
Cleveland, which was blown out by Orlando and lost to Brooklyn during this stretch, fell below .500 despite cutting a 19-point deficit to six in the fourth quarter.
LeBron James downplayed the Cavaliers’ problems following Saturday night’s 123-101 loss in New Orleans, saying “I’m fine. We’re fine,” but the issues continued for the defending Eastern Conference champions.
New York, after winning its first game Friday over the Nets, led 89-71 late in the third quarter. Cleveland cut it to 94-88 on James’ drive, forcing New York to call a timeout with 8:21 left.
Courtney Lee scored on a drive and hit a 3-pointer, helping the Knicks make it 103-88. New York took its largest lead, 114-93, in the final minute.
New York beat Cleveland for the first time since Oct. 30, 2014 — James’ first game back with the Cavaliers after playing four seasons in Miami — a span that covered 10 games.
Hardaway came in shooting 27 percent in four games but scored 24 points in the first half. He was 11 of 19 from the field and hit 5 of 10 3-pointers.
Kevin Love led the Cavaliers with 22 points while James had 16. Derrick Rose returned after missing four games because of a sprained left ankle and scored 15 points.
Cleveland led 13-10, but Hardaway scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers and a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Jarrett Jack, as New York went on a 14-0 run.
The Cavaliers tied it at 49 late in the second quarter, but the Knicks scored seven straight points and pushed the lead to 62-54 at halftime.
New York took over in the third quarter and built the lead to 17 on several occasions in the period.
Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert didn’t play because of a sore right knee. He saw time at point guard with Rose sidelined and started Saturday.
Knicks: Porzingis had 12 rebounds while Kantner had 18 points and 12 rebounds. … Lee scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds. … Jack and G Ramon Sessions each spent one full season with Cleveland.
Cavaliers: Cleveland’s loss to Orlando snapped a 17-game winning streak against the Magic. … Power forward Tristan Thompson had one point, no rebounds and four fouls in 19 minutes. … Love hit two 3-pointers in the first six minutes, giving him 900 for his career.
Knicks: Return home to play Denver on Monday night in their first back-to-back set of the season.
Cavaliers: Host Indiana on Wednesday night. Cleveland has won seven straight in the series at home.