Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 37 points, including a layup with 10 seconds left after a timeout he didn't seem to want, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks 90-87 on Thursday night for their season-best fifth straight victory.
Irving carried the Cavs most of the game before LeBron James had five straight points late that helped Cleveland pull it out. James finished with 19 points and 12 assists.
Carmelo Anthony ended a 4-for-19 night by missing a 3-pointer in the final seconds as the Knicks dropped their sixth straight and fell to 4-16.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points and Amare Stoudemire had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who were trying to surprise the Cavs for the second time this season.
But New York, which spoiled James' first game back in Cleveland with a 95-90 victory on Oct. 30, couldn't hold on after leading by seven in the final quarter.
James, content to be a passer much of the game, nailed a 3-pointer for an 86-85 lead with 3:54 left, then helped force a turnover and turned it into a fast-break dunk for a three-point lead with 3:25 to go.
Stoudemire's basket cut it to one, and the teams traded misses until Cleveland had the ball with under a half-minute left and Irving dribbling in the frontcourt. Coach David Blatt called for a timeout, and Irving appeared ready to slam the ball down in anger before walking back to the bench.
But the Cavs went right back to him after the timeout and he made a layup from the left side that made it 90-87.
Kevin Love had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs, who had averaged 109.8 points in the previous four victories but could never get their offense going in this one — except for Irving.
He finished 12 of 18 from the field and bettered the 29 points per game he was scoring at Madison Square Garden, which was his best at any arena.