Julius Randle scored 13 of his game-high 30 points during a pivotal first-quarter run Monday night for the host New York Knicks, who never trailed in a 123-105 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Knicks are 2-2 since a 108-87 home loss to the Cavaliers on Nov. 10, when team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry held a postgame press conference to express their unhappiness with New York's performance.
The Cavaliers have dropped four straight since routing the Knicks, including the last three by a combined 48 points.
Randle's 30-point effort was the first by a Knicks player since Mario Hezonja scored 30 against the Washington Wizards on April 7. It was the 14th 30-point game for Randle and his first since he scored 31 for the New Orleans Pelicans against the Phoenix Suns on April 5. Randle signed a three-year deal with New York this summer.
Marcus Morris Sr. scored 23 points for the Knicks, while rookie RJ Barrett scored 15 points and Damyean Dotson added 11.
Kevin Porter Jr. scored 18 points to lead six Cavaliers players in double figures. Collin Sexton and Alfonzo McKinnie each had 14 points while Jordan Clarkson scored 13 points. Brandon Knight added 12 points, and Darius Garland finished with 10 points.
Randle almost singlehandedly keyed the 18-5 run that turned a 10-7 Knicks lead into a 28-12 advantage with 3:02 left in the first. He was the only New York player with multiple baskets during the surge.
The Cavaliers pulled within 36-31 early in the second when Porter, McKinnie and Matthew Dellavedova drained 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. But the Knicks followed with an 18-4 run in which Randle and Morris had five points apiece. Randle's 3-pointer with 2:26 left gave New York its biggest lead of the half at 60-39.
The Cavaliers scored 12 of the final 16 points of the half and still were within 70-57 with 8:31 left in the third. But Morris' three-point play ended a 10-3 run for the Knicks, who expanded their lad to 90-65 when Dotson scored five straight points with under four minutes remaining in the quarter.
New York led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter.
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