The Cleveland Cavaliers overcame the New York Knicks in a spiteful clash, while reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors stayed hot. LeBron James led the Cavaliers to an improbable 104-101 victory against the Knicks on Monday.
The Knicks, angry about recent comments James made about the New York franchise, came out hot, building a 51-38 half-time lead.Along the way, the player some people felt James "dissed," guard Frank Ntilikina, stole the ball six times, including once from the Cavs star.
And Ntilikina — with a little backup from Enes Kanter — had a testy on-court encounter with James that left the Madison Square Garden crowd roaring its approval. The Knicks led by 23 points, 73-50, with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. However, the Cavs outscored the hosts 43-20 in the final quarter to stun the New York crowd.
James had created a stir after Cleveland's game against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, claiming the Knicks should have drafted guard Dennis Smith Jr. this year. Instead, the Knicks took Ntilikina at number eight in the draft, letting Smith go with the next pick to Dallas.
While some took that as a slam against Ntilikina, James said Monday the remarks were "definitely a shot" at former Knicks president Phil Jackson. James then definitely hit the shot that sank the Knicks on Monday, a go-ahead three-pointer that gave the Cavs a 100-97 lead.
The Warriors, meanwhile, extended their winning streak to seven games by downing the Orlando Magic 110-100. Golden State – led by Kevin Durant's 21 points – did it without two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who sat out the game due to injury.
Darius Miller came off the bench to score 21 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to key the New Orleans Pelicans' 106-105 win against the Atlanta Hawks. He was five of eight from deep, nailing four of those in the final quarter. Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and 13 rebounds in the team's 109-98 win over the Utah Jazz.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley hit only two-of-12 shots and finished with seven points in a 110-103 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Washington Wizards 110-92 Sacramento Kings
New Orleans Pelicans 106-105 Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves 109-08 Utah Jazz
Portland Trail Blazers 99-82 Denver Nuggets
Golden State Warriors 110-100 Orlando Magic
Cleveland Cavaliers 104-101 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 110-103 Memphis Grizzlies
Los Angeles Lakers 100-93 Phoenix Suns
Philadelphia 76ers 109-105 Los Angeles Clippers