Jeremy 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, last night at Madison Square Garden.
“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.’’
Lakers 104, Timberwolves 85 - Kobe Bryant had 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists while playing with a clear mask over his broken nose, and Los Angeles returned from the All-Star break with its 17th consecutive win over visiting Minnesota.
Bryant didn’t miss a game after Dwyane Wade broke his nose and gave him a concussion with a hard foul in the All-Star game Sunday. After getting clearance to play about an hour before tipoff, Bryant wore a Richard Hamilton-style mask that didn’t appear to affect the NBA scoring leader.
Bulls 96, Spurs 89 - Derrick Rose scored 29 points and visiting Chicago stayed on a roll by cooling off San Antonio.
Rose shook off a scary-looking collision with Tony Parker early that kept the reigning MVP on the floor clutching his right knee for several minutes. But he never left the game and the Bulls became just the second team to win in San Antonio this season.
Raptors 95, Hornets 84 - Linas Kleiza and Demar DeRozan scored 21 points apiece and Toronto rallied to win in New Orleans.
The Raptors, who trailed, 69-62, after tying a season low for points in a quarter with 11 in the third, broke loose for 33 in the fourth - matching a season best for any quarter.
Warriors 85, Hawks 82 - David Lee scored 22 points, including the go-ahead basket with 30 seconds remaining, and host Golden State answered a late comeback by Atlanta.
Joe Johnson, returning from a knee injury, led Atlanta with 18 points.
Thunder 92, 76ers 88 - Kevin Durant scored 8 of his 23 points down the stretch as Oklahoma City rallied from a 7-point fourth-quarter deficit to stun host Philadelphia.
Magic 102, Wizards 95 - Ryan Anderson had 23 points and 15 rebounds, and visiting Orlando pulled away from Washington late in the fourth quarter.
Jazz 104, Rockets 83 - C.J. Miles scored a season-high 27 points and host Utah stopped a four-game losing streak by blowing out Houston.
Grizzlies 96, Mavericks 85 - Marc Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Mike Conley added 20 points as host Memphis defeated Dallas.
Pistons 109, Bobcats 94 - Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points and Greg Monroe added 19 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to help host Detroit rout Charlotte.
Nuggets 104, Trail Blazers 95 - Ty Lawson had 18 points and nine assists in his return to the lineup, helping host Denver drop Portland.