Cavaliers down Knicks 91-84 for early Christmas cheer

Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:08pm EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Kevin Love had 23 points and 13 rebounds and forward LeBron James added 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 91-84 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

The Knicks were playing without Carmelo Anthony and still nearly pulled off the upset thanks to 23 points and 13 rebounds from rookie Kristaps Porzingis.

The Knicks rallied from 11 points down to take their first lead on a tip-in from forward Lou Amundson with 11 minutes to play, but they were well held near the close with Porzingis shut out in the fourth quarter.

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving played 20 minutes in his second game back from a fractured kneecap, but was clearly still rusty, with

five points and four assists on 1-of-7 shooting from the field.

The Knicks limited the Cavs to 39 percent shooting from the floor and had a chance to win until the final minute.

Cavs guard Iman Shumpert's defense forced the Knicks into a timeout after guard Arron Afflalo was trapped in the corner with the score tied at 82.

Knicks forward Lance Thomas threw away the inbounds pass and Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova converted at the other end.

The Cavs strung together a couple more stops, including once when Shumpert stripped Afflalo again two possessions later for a turnover, and James clinched the win with a dunk in the final minute.   Continued...

Dec 23, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after a dunk against the New York Knicks in the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports