Final Dime: Cavaliers 119, Knicks 115

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Baron Davis notched 18 points in his Cavaliers debut on Friday night.
Lou Capozzola
NBAE/Getty Images
1. After getting dumped one week ago in his road debut at The Q, Carmelo Anthony told the media that his Knicks wanted a piece of the Cavaliers.

He got it.

A feisty new-look Cavaliers squad rallied from a dozen points down in the fourth quarter and dropped the Knicks for the 11th straight time – winning a 119-115 thriller on Friday night at the Garden.

J.J. Hickson led the squad with 23 points, Samardo Samuels made a pair of huge defensive plays and Anthony Parker hit a clutch three-pointer. But it might have been Baron Davis in his debut that changed the direction of the game, notching 18 points – including a game-breaking bomb with 10.6 remaining.

"The victory is very sweet because there is a sense of a miniature rivalry brewing here, and we just wanted to come on this road trip and take care of business," said Davis.

The Cavaliers trailed by just three heading into the fourth quarter, but New York opened the fourth on a 12-3 run. But Baron scored nine of Cleveland’s next 15 points – keying a 12-2 run that saw Ramon Sessions tie the affair at 106-apiece with just over three minutes to play.

With just under a minute to play, Amare Stoudemire canned a jumper that put New York up, 112-110. But on the next possession, Anthony Parker drained a three-pointer with Carmelo’s hand in his face, giving the Cavaliers a lead they would not relinquish.

The Knicks had a chance to tie the game after Sessions split a pair of free throws, but Samardo Samuels stood his ground against a driving Carmelo Anthony, who drew his second straight charge. Luke Harangody sank a pair of free throws to ice the win.

"I saw (Anthony) fumble the ball a little bit, so I know that messed him up and he had to do something real quick," said Samuels."His whole mind state was to get to the rim and it was a perfect opportunity to pull over and take the charge at that point."

"It says a lot about our team’s character that we were down, we weren’t playing our best, and we were playing against a team that has been playing pretty well and we just kept fighting until we got the victory," praised Coach Byron Scott.

J.J. Hickson was 9-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the stripe for his team-leading 23 points, adding a team-high eight boards to go with four assists, two steals and a block.

Hickson led seven Cavaliers in double-figures. Newcomers, Baron Davis and Luke Harandogy notched 18 points apiece off the bench.

Davis was 6-of-15 from the floor, adding five assists. Harangody shot 6-of-11 and added four boards and a pair of assists.

Samuels, the undrafted rookie from Louisville, came up big in his second straight start – finishing with 15 points and six boards, doing some major blue-collar work in the paint.

Anthony Parker and Christian Eyenga added 13 points each – combining to go 10-for-15 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Ramon Sessions rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 11 points, including a clutch free throw in the closing seconds to give Cleveland some much-needed breathing space.

The Cavs shot an even 50 percent from the floor, including 57 percent from long-distance.

The Wine and Gold return home for a Sunday night affair against Chris Paul and Hornets at The Q.



2. The Wine and Gold’s road win in New York was their first since November 9, 2010 when they topped the Nets across the Hudson.

3. The Cavaliers have now dropped the Knicks 11 straight times, their longest win streak against any NBA team. With Denver, Carmelo Anthony came into the Deadline with a 10-4 mark against the Cavs. He’s 0-2 since becoming a Knick.

4. Baron Davis made his debut with the Cavaliers, sporting the ocho-cinco. He was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, adding three boards and a steal. Davis notched 16 points and 16 assists against New York on Feb. 9 as a Clipper.

5. In his last two games against the Knicks, J.J. Hickson is averaging 23.5 points and 11.5 boards and three blocked shots per contest.

6. After turning in the best Cavalier debut since Carlos Boozer on Wednesday night, Samardo Samuels is now averaging 19.0 points and 8.0 boards in his first two career starts.

7. Since February 25, the Cavaliers are averaging 23.9 second chance points, tops in the league during that span.

8. The Cavaliers bench outscored New York’s reserves, 53-16.

9. Over the past two games, Christian Eyenga is 6-for-6 from beyond the arc. Before that, the rookie was shooting .204 from three-point range.

10. Newly-acquired Cavalier, Luke Harangody notched his career-high with 18 minutes in his first meaningful minutes as a Cavalier. Harangody was limited in his debut on Wednesday with a left hip pointer and wasn’t supposed to play on Friday. But the former Domer convinced Coach Scott he could go.