Julius Randle collected 36 points and 13 rebounds and hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:07 remaining as the host New York Knicks avoided another late collapse in a 105-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
Randle tied a career high with eight 3-pointers — his final 3 helped the Knicks avoid blowing an 11-point lead.
After a layup by Evan Mobley with 2:29 left forged a 100-100 tie, Randle made an open look from beyond the top of the key as Jalen Brunson screened off Cleveland center Jarrett Allen. That made it 103-100, and then the Knicks sweated out the finish.
R.J. Barrett added 16 points while Brunson was held to 14 on 5-of-13 shooting, but the Knicks shot 49.3 percent despite that and snapped a four-game losing streak.
Allen tied a season high with 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Darius Garland added 22 points as Cleveland lost for the third time in four games.
Cleveland got the deficit down to 105-103 on a three-point play by Garland with 39.1 seconds left and had a chance at the tie following a New York shot clock violation with 15.4 seconds remaining.
After the violation, Donovan Mitchell had a layup blocked by Isaiah Hartenstein with 4.4 seconds left and Mobley missed a short jumper with one second left.
Mitchell nearly willed the Cavs to the comeback win by scoring nine of his 24 points in the fourth. After sitting out three games with a groin injury, he shot 9 of 24 and added eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals. But he had three shots blocked in the final 87 seconds.
After the final possession, Mitchell fell to the ground and appeared to be shaken up as he left the court.
After blowing a 13-point lead early in the second, the Knicks settled for a 53-51 lead at halftime and then trailed 69-61 with 4:58 left in the third.
Randle’s seventh 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds capped a 19-6 run that gave the Knicks an 80-75 lead heading into the fourth, and the lead grew to 91-80 on a basket by Immanuel Quickley with 8:29 left before Cleveland rallied.