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Jalen Brunson produced 21 points and 6 assists to help the host New York Knicks register a convincing 99-79 victory over the cold-shooting Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Friday night, April 21 (Saturday, April 22, Manila time).
RJ Barrett registered 19 points and 8 rebounds and Josh Hart added 13 points and 6 rebounds as New York took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Julius Randle contributed 11 points and 8 rebounds despite 3-of-15 shooting, and Immanuel Quickley also scored 11 points.
Donovan Mitchell recorded 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists and Caris LeVert added 17 points for the Cavaliers, who shot just 38.8% from the field, including a woeful 7-of-33 (21.2%) from behind the arc.
Darius Garland scored 10 points on 4-of-21 shooting and Evan Mobley had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, which committed 21 turnovers.
Game 4 is Sunday in New York.
Game 3 represented quite a turnaround for New York, which trailed by as many as 29 points during a 107-90 Game 2 loss in Cleveland on Tuesday. This time, the Knicks led by as many as 27.
New York shot 47% from the field in Game 3 and made 10-of-33 (30.3%) from three-point range.
Cleveland scored just 32 first-half points. The Cavaliers shot 31 percent in the half and were 2-of-19 (10.5%) from three-point range.
Cleveland trailed 72-55 after three quarters and was unable to mount a comeback.
The Cavaliers were down by 15 before New York’s Obi Toppin scored the first 6 points of an 11-2 burst that elevated the Knicks’ lead to 88-64 with 6:28 remaining.
Both teams struggled in an opening quarter that concluded in a 17-17 tie. New York shot 26.1% in the period and the Cavaliers made 33.3%.
The Knicks began playing better in the second quarter and used a 15-3 surge to open up a 38-27 lead with 3:43 left in the half. Mitchell Robinson and Brunson completed the run with dunks.
New York held a 45-32 advantage at the break behind 14 points from Barrett. Mitchell had 12 in the half for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers showed some life in the third quarter and moved within 64-55 on Mitchell’s basket with 2:18 left.
But Hart answered with a three-pointer 15 seconds later to start a quarter-ending 8-0 run as the Knicks took a 17-point lead into the fourth. – Rappler.com