New York: Kyrie Irving scored a game high 37 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers avenged an opening night loss to the New York Knicks with a 90-87 victory on Thursday.
LeBron James also had two clutch baskets down the stretch for the Cavaliers, who dropped a 95-90 decision to the Knicks on October 30.
The Cavaliers trailed for most of the second half, but James scored five straight points late in the fourth to help them regain the lead. Irving made a layup over two New York defenders with 10 seconds left and made it 90-87.
The Knicks decided to run a play to Carmelo Anthony on the game`s final possession. Anthony broke free from James` defence and shot a three from the right side, but it failed to fall. Iman Shumpert tipped the rebound to Jose Calderon, who hit a three pointer but it was well after the final buzzer sounded.
Anthony finished with just nine points on four-of-19 shooting in front of a crowd of 19,812 at Madison Square Garden.
Irving made 12-of-18 from the floor, hitting 10 of 11 free throw attempts for Cleveland, who have won a season-high five consecutive games. James tallied 19 points and 12 assists, and Kevin Love finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Tim Hardaway came off the bench to score 20 points for the Knicks, who have managed just three wins in 19 contests since beating the Cavaliers in October.
Amare Stoudemire had 18 points and Quincy Acy scored a career-high 15 for the Knicks, who extended their losing streak to six games.