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Final Score: Cavs hang on, beat Knicks 107-104

Scoring against a zone defense remains a problem for the Cavs, but they did enough against the Knicks

NBA: New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

They almost lost. But the Cavs, somehow, held on Monday night to beat the Knicks 107-104 in Cleveland. It’s the team’s first win this season where they led from beginning to end and it also snaps a four-game losing streak.

The Cavs led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter against the Knicks, but had their lead whittled down to as as low as one point with less than a minute to play. The Knicks missed their last three three-pointers at the end of the game and the Cavs escaped with a win.

Larry Nance Jr. picked up his sixth straight double-double with a 15-point, 16-rebound performance. His 10 offensive rebounds are a new career high. Kevin Love chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds in 16 first half minutes. He did not play in the second half as he continues to come back from the foot injury that had limited him to just four games this season until he returned last week.

Collin Sexton added 20 points on 7-21 shooting. In his first game with the Cavs, Nik Stauskas struggled to a three point night on 1-9 shooting. He started the second half in place of Love.

Cleveland led by 15 points at the half, but saw their offense fall apart in the second half when New York switched to a 2-3 zone. The Cavs’ attack largely stagnated, as they settled for three-pointer after three-pointer after an initial pass got them nowhere. Had it not been for the large lead and a few timely makes, it seems likely that the Cavs would have blown their lead and lost.

The win puts the Cavs 1.5 games behind the Knicks for the worst record in the league. Up next for Cleveland is a home game against the Nets on Wednesday. It their last game before the All-Star break and part of the current five-game homestand. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.