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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Cavaliers forward LeBron James drives to the basket against the Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis during the first half Monday in New York.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 1:00 am

Cleveland 104, New York 101

Cavaliers get hot in 4th, win

Hit 9 3-pointers in quarter, erase Knicks' lead

BRIAN MAHONEY | Associated Press

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.

Cleveland outscored New York 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.

“Now we just kept talking about chipping away, chipping away,” Dwyane Wade said.

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 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 got technicals.

“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.”