Raymond Felton scored 25 points, Tyson Chandler had 23, and the Knicks overcame Kyrie Irving’s career-high 41 points and the absence of Carmelo Anthony to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-102, Saturday night in New York.
The Knicks won their fourth straight when Anderson Varejao missed the second of two free throws with one second left. They improved the NBA’s only unbeaten home record to 10-0, their best start since the 1991-92 team won its first 11 at Madison Square Garden.
Chandler scored 21 in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Felton and Jason Kidd combined for 15 assists.
It almost wasn’t enough thanks to Irving, who had no problems wearing a black protective mask after breaking a bone in his face on a hard fall Friday night against Milwaukee.
Rookie Chris Copeland scored 11 points in his first career start in place of Anthony. The Knicks improved to 2-1 without him, adding this to a surprising rout in Miami on Dec. 6.
Leading by 10 midway through the fourth quarter, the Knicks had their lead cut to 102-101 when Irving made two free throws with 10.1 seconds left. After Steve Novak made one free throw, Irving pushed the ball up and seemingly the whole Knicks team converged on him, leaving Varejao uncovered toward the left sideline. Irving threw him the ball and Varejao dribbled into the lane, where he was fouled with a second left. After making the first, he may have been distracted when the officials took the ball back from him so the Knicks could make a late substitution, and the second shot fell out.
Irving scored 17 points in the final period, the second-year pro surpassing his previous best of 34 points despite saying he arrived less than three hours before the tip and with only about four hours of sleep after getting fitted for the mask.
C.J. Miles finished with 17 points for the Cavaliers, who had three masked men in uniform as they dropped their third straight.
Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller were already wearing them for previous facial injuries.
Timberwolves 114, Mavericks 106 — Ricky Rubio made a triumphant return to the court with nine assists and 8 points in 19 minutes as Minnesota overcame Dallas in overtime in Minneapolis.
Andrei Kirilenko scored 5 of his 14 points in overtime while Rubio watched from the bench because of a minutes restriction on his surgically repaired left knee. Rubio tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee in March.
The Timberwolves won their fourth straight game despite playing without All-Star Kevin Love because of an illness.
Bulls 83, Nets 82 — Joakim Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and helped force a key turnover as host Chicago rallied for the win.
Noah and Luol Deng trapped Joe Johnson late in the game, resulting in one of Brooklyn’s 18 turnovers. Deng turned the mistake into a basket that tied it at 79.
Magic 107, Bobcats 98 — Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo each scored 20 points as visiting Orlando handed Charlotte its 11th straight loss.
Jameer Nelson added 16 points and six assists and J.J. Redick had 14 points, including a big 3-pointer down the stretch for the Magic.
The Orlando win overshadowed a career-high 32 points from Kemba Walker. Charlotte’s second-year point guard was 11 of 19 from the field. He also had seven assists.
Heat 102, Wizards 72 — LeBron James had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead host Miami to a victory over Washington.
Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade each scored 13 for Miami, which outscored Washington, 29-10, in the third quarter to build a 33-point lead.
Bradley Beal scored 19 points and Cartier Martin added 18 for the Wizards, who beat the Heat, 105-101, in Washington on Dec. 4.
Warriors 115, Hawks 93 — David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Golden State completed a 6-1 road trip against Eastern Conference teams with a victory in Atlanta.
The Warriors’ success included a win at Miami. It was the team’s first winning road trip of at least six games since a 4-3 trip in the 1970-71 season.
Pacers 88, Pistons 77 — David West had 23 points and George Hill added 18 points and seven assists to lead Indiana over Detroit in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Grizzlies 99, Jazz 86 — Zach Randolph had 25 points and 16 rebounds, and visiting Memphis snapped a three-game losing streak.
Clippers 111, Bucks 85 — Matt Barnes scored 21 points, Blake Griffin had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and visiting Los Angeles won its ninth straight by routing cold-shooting Milwaukee.