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    Friday, March 01, 2024

    Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson score 19 points apiece as the Knicks beat the Cavaliers 109-91

    New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) drives against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Georges Niang (20) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    Cleveland — Julius Randle had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Jalen Brunson scored 19 points and the New York Knicks did not trail in the final three quarters of a 109-91 victory over the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.

    Immanuel Quickley added 18 points off the bench and RJ Barrett had 16 as the Knicks won the first half of a home-and-home series. It was the teams’ first meeting since New York eliminated Cleveland in five games in the first round of the 2023 playoffs.

    New York native Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points in 29 minutes, and Isaac Okoro and Georges Niang had 11 points apiece for the Cavaliers, who have lost three straight and are 0-3 at home. Cleveland is 2-8 against the Knicks since the start of last season.

    Mitchell, who is averaging team highs of 32.0 points and 4.7 assists, returned to the lineup after sitting out a 125-113 loss to the Pacers with a sore right hamstring Saturday. The four-time All-Star was hurt in the fourth quarter of a 108-105 home loss to Oklahoma City one night earlier.

    The injury-plagued Cavaliers were without point guard Darius Garland (left hamstring strain) for the third straight game and have not had center Jarrett Allen (left ankle bone bruise) in uniform this season. Top reserve Caris LeVert also did not play after hurting his left hamstring in Saturday's game, nor did backup point guard Ty Jerome (right ankle sprain).

    Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he hoped that Allen “will be back soon.”

    Isaiah Hartenstein had 13 points and seven rebounds, and fellow center Mitchell Robinson added eight points and seven boards for New York.

    Cavaliers undrafted rookie Craig Porter scored 10 points and Evan Mobley collected six points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

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