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Friday, March 2, 2012

Lin, Knicks roar back with victory over Cavs


NEW YORK — Jeremy Lin checked back in, triggering the wave of cheers that accompany his every move at Madison Square Garden.

News photo
Long distance provider: New York's Steve Novak reacts after canning a 3-pointer against Cleveland in the second half on Wednesday night. The Knicks beat the Cavaliers 120-103. AP

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.

"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.

"I saw a team over there in the white uniforms that were a lot more aggressive and a lot more physical," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "We had two turnovers at halftime, 16 in the second half. We didn't do a good job taking care of the ball. We didn't do a good job of attacking. If they're going to be aggressive like that, we need to be aggressive back. I don't think we were."

Kyrie Irving had 22 points and seven assists.

Lakers 104, Timberwolves 85

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant had 31 points, seven rebounds and eight assists while playing with a clear mask over his broken nose, and the Lakers returned from the All-Star break with their 17th consecutive win over the Timberwolves.

Thunder 92, 76ers 88

In Philadelphia, Kevin Durant scored eight of his 23 points down the stretch.

Celtics 102, Bucks 96

In Boston, Rajon Rondo had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to record his third triple-double of the season.

Warriors 85, Hawks 82

In Atlanta, David Lee scored 22 points, including the go-ahead basket with 30 seconds remaining.

Magic 102, Wizards 95

In Washington, Ryan Anderson had 23 points and 15 rebounds, and the Magic pulled away late in the fourth quarter and returned from the All-Star break with a win over the lineup-shuffling Wizards.

Pistons 109, Bobcats 94

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points and Greg Monroe added 19 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.

Raptors 95, Hornets 84

In New Orleans, Linas Kleiza and DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points apiece and the Raptors rallied to beat the Hornets.

Grizzlies 96, Mavericks 85

In Memphis, Marc Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Mike Conley added 20 points and 10 assists.

Nuggets 104, Trail Blazers 95

In Denver, Ty Lawson had 18 points and nine assists after missing two games with a sprained left ankle, and Kenneth Faried scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Bulls 96, Spurs 89

In San Antonio, Derrick Rose scored 29 points and the Bulls stayed on a roll by cooling off the streaking Spurs.

Jazz 104, Rockets 83

In Salt Lake City, C.J. Miles scored a season-high 27 points.

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