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Julius Randle Assists Knicks Pull Away From Cavs In 2nd Half


In the first game of a home-and-home series, the visiting New York Knicks defeated the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers 109-91 behind a double-double from Julius Randle. The Knicks gained momentum in the second half of the game.

For the Knicks, who outscored the Cavaliers 51-39 in the second half, Randle had 19 points and 10 rebounds. The two squads will square off in New York on Wednesday night.

RJ Barrett scored 16 points, and Jalen Brunson added 19 points. In addition to scoring in double figures off the bench, Immanuel Quickley (18 points) and Isaiah Hartenstein (13 points) combined for 52.4 percent (11-for-21) shooting from the field.

The Cavaliers, who were without Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, and Darius Garland, were led by Donovan Mitchell’s game-high 26 points. Allen missed the game due to an ankle ailment, while Garland and LeVert were sidelined by hamstring problems. In addition to Craig Porter’s ten points from the bench, Isaac Okoro and backup Georges Niang both scored eleven points.

With 3:23 remaining in the first quarter, Mitchell’s jumper gave the Cavaliers their final lead at 21-19. Brunson had earlier scored nine points in a 16-8 surge that started the game. The Knicks led 28–24 at the end of the quarter after going on a 9–3 run.

With 2:26 remaining in the second quarter, Hartenstein’s hook gave the Knicks their first double-digit lead, 41–31. Mitchell rallied the Cavaliers to within one point with a 13–4 run that saw him score 10 points. After Cleveland pulled within two points twice more, New York went on an 8-4 run to close the half and grab a 58-52 lead.

Early in the third quarter, the Cavaliers narrowed the gap to four points twice, but then they lost steam and the Knicks finished the quarter with a 24-10 run. During the run, Brunson scored six points and Randle scored seven. During a roughly six-minute span, Cleveland shot only 29.2 percent (7-for-24) in the quarter and went 0-for-11 with four turnovers.

With 6:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers had led by 10 points early. However, the Knicks responded with a 9-point run, sparked by two 3-pointers from Josh Hart and Quickley, to increase their advantage to 99-78. Toward the end, New York had a lead of up to 23 points.

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