CLEVELAND -- LeBron James recorded his 48th career triple-double and Kyrie Irving scored 23 points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 119-104 victory over the New York Knicks, who hung on to superstar Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose at Thursday's trade deadline.
James scored 18 points and had 13 rebounds with 15 assists for his sixth triple-double of the season.
Anthony, the subject of trade rumors because of a strained relationship with Knicks President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson, scored 20 points, going 9 of 25 from the field.
Kyle Korver scored 20 points for Cleveland, which is 8-1 in February and has beaten New York 10 straight times.
Courtney Lee had 25 points for New York, which has lost six of seven and is 12th in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis, the team's second-leading scorer, left the game with a sprained right ankle in the second quarter and didn't return. >> Read more
Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press
This game had an eerie similarity to the Knicks' season opening loss to the Cavaliers. Much like that contest, New York allowed Cleveland to rip the game wide open (this time, in the second quarter) and simply couldn't catch up there after. The top dog in the East, it's easy to see why the Cavaliers find so much success. They have great chemistry and their facilitators know just where to find all the weapons in this team's offense. Conversely, the Knicks failed to communicate and close out on defense. The home team had all the space they needed to make it rain on a bevy of great open looks.
This is obviously a very difficult matchup for the Knicks, not just based on talent, but individual challenges. LeBron James is explosive with the ball, Tristan Thompson is a physical beast under the basket, and there are just too many good shooters to account for. Kyle Korver and his six connections from deep, good for 20 points off the bench, showed exactly why he may have very well been the midseason's most prized, yet underrated, acquisition.
The All-Star break obviously serves as a great time for players to regroup and get some much needed rest. On the flip side, however, the time off can lead to rust. There was very little fluidity in New York's offense. Players didn't exactly look like they had their proper legs under them when following through on shots. Carmelo Anthony was a big culprit here. New York will have an opportunity to bounce back from this with time. On the positive side, they put up a relatively good fight and really competed, even winning the rebounding battle. Early on, it appeared as though players were relaxed. The passing of the trade deadline should help put guys at ease.