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Cleveland at New York

Knicks use bench to overtake Cavs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Jeremy Lin checked back in, triggering the wave of cheers that accompany his every move at Madison Square Garden.

This time, they were for the guys leaving the game.

Lin had 19 points and 13 assists and Carmelo Anthony scored 22, but the New York Knicks turned around this one with their reserves to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-103 on Wednesday night.

"I think our second unit did an awesome job," Lin said. "I think we've been talking a lot about our depth and tonight we definitely got to see the depth, and so that's going to be a strength of ours and we need to continue to use that."

Steve Novak had 17 points off the bench as the Knicks turned a 17-point deficit into an easy win, outscoring the Cavs 71-42 in the second half. They capped a 10-5 month, their first 10-win February since going 10-3 in 1996-97.

The Knicks didn't lead until Novak made consecutive 3-pointers to put them up 75-74 with 2:52 left in the third quarter, then dominated the fourth quarter to send the Cavs to their third straight loss. Their bench produced 50 points, outscoring the starters 38-33 in the final 24 minutes.

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"We hope that's the normal-case scenario, if that's possible," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "And to be honest, the last couple of days in practice, that group has just kicked our first group's butt every day, so it wasn't different. They've been playing that way."

Antawn Jamison had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, beaten at home by Boston on Tuesday, giving them losses on consecutive nights to two of the teams within reach for a playoff spot.

Kyrie Irving had 22 points and seven assists.

The interesting point guard matchup between the No. 1 pick and the guy who wasn't picked was about even. Irving seems headed toward the Rookie of the Year award and has led the Cavaliers into playoff contention, but he and most of the rest of the NBA have been obscured by the player he said has "been on ESPN every single day."

Irving seemed to have little interest in discussing Linsanity. He said he didn't really speak to Lin when they both played in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday at the All-Star game and repeated the same basic answer when twice asked about his counterpart, saying Lin was a great story, great point guard, and was leading the Knicks to wins.

Now it's up to 10 in the last 13 games, and back to .500.

With the recent additions of Baron Davis and JR Smith, and the return of rookies Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson from injuries, the Knicks believe their depth has become a strength. And it was the reserves who broke open the game to start the fourth quarter.

The Knicks began the period with a 19-6 burst, turning a two-point lead into a 101-86 advantage as the starters watched. Novak made two 3-pointers, Davis made a layup and hooked up with Smith on a gorgeous alley-oop. Jared Jeffries had a bucket and Shumpert capped it with a layup with 5:50 remaining before the first team finally got to play again.

"I think in the first half we came out kind of flat," Novak said. "In the second half, we all went out and warmed up and we knew we had to get it going, and we knew if defensively we got it going our offense would happen, and that's what happened."

Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler came back with 5:23 left, and Lin and Anthony returned 21 seconds later for Davis and Smith. The reserves got loud ovations as they departed, and Novak was even treated to a "We want Novak! We want Novak!" chant with about 3 minutes left.

Chandler had 13 points and 15 rebounds.

Cleveland appeared on its way to joining Toronto, Charlotte, Phoenix, Milwaukee, New Orleans and New Jersey as sub.-500 teams who have won at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks missed eight of their first nine shots as Cleveland raced to a 7-1 lead. Jamison's 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds left made it 31-24 after one quarter.

Daniel Gibson hit three straight 3-pointers midway through the second to push the lead to 16, and it peaked at 17 later in the period before the Cavs settled for a 61-49 advantage at halftime.

Lin bounced back from his 1-for-11 performance in a 102-88 loss at Miami in the last game before the break, going 6 of 12 with only one turnover. Irving, playing in front of family and friends from nearby New Jersey, shot 8 of 18.

Notes

  • With the Big East tournament in town next week, the Knicks don't play at Madison Square Garden again until March 11. They open a four-game trip Sunday at Boston, then go to Dallas, San Antonio and Milwaukee.
  • Athletes in the crowd included Magic Johnson, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, who plays Maria Sharapova as part of a doubleheader exhibition here Monday, and 2004 Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Carly Patterson.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Steve Novak fires from beyond the arc for three of his 17 points off the bench for the Knicks. (Getty Images)
Steve Novak fires from beyond the arc for three of his 17 points off the bench for the Knicks. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Cleveland (13-20)31301923103
New York (18-18) «24253338120
CLE:A. Jamison 23 Pts
CLE:A. Jamison 10 Reb
CLE:K. Irving 7 Ast
NY:C. Anthony 22 Pts
NY:T. Chandler 15 Reb
NY:J. Lin 13 Ast
Players of the Game
ClevelandNew York

Antawn Jamison

Jeremy Lin
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2310219513
Cleveland
A. Jamison, PF389-203-7102423
K. Irving, PG348-184-437322
O. Casspi, SF201-22-27135
A. Parker, SG184-40-20129
S. Erden, C92-50-24044
D. Gibson, PG303-74-403413
T. Thompson, PF295-91-281511
A. Gee, SF281-94-43016
R. Sessions, PG173-40-04426
L. Harangody, PF101-10-02122
S. Samuels, C71-30-02112
A. Varejao, CDid Not Play
R. Hollins, CDid Not Play
C. Eyenga, SFDid Not Play
M. Harris, PGDid Not Play
Totals 38-8218-27432131103
 46.3%66.7% 
New York
C. Anthony, SF349-163-554322
J. Lin, PG336-127-9513319
T. Chandler, C314-75-10150213
A. Stoudemire, PF284-116-750314
L. Fields, SG201-60-01302
I. Shumpert, PG225-102-321112
J. Jeffries, PF203-32-25148
J. Smith, SG203-73-61029
S. Novak, SF176-90-010417
B. Davis, PG152-40-02804
M. Bibby, PGDid Not Play
B. Walker, SGDid Not Play
J. Harrellson, CDid Not Play
T. Douglas, PGDid Not Play
J. Jordan, CDid Not Play
Totals 43-8528-42423022120
 50.6%66.7% 
Other Games
OKC 92 Final
Phi 88
Orl 102 Final
Wash 95
GS 85 Final
Atl 82
Mil 96 Final
Bos 102
Char 94 Final
Det 109
Tor 95 Final
NO 84
Dal 85 Final
Mem 96
Port 95 Final
Den 104
Chi 96 Final
SA 89
Hou 83 Final
Utah 104
Min 85 Final
LAL 104