New York, NY (Sports Network) - Just 48 hours removed from Kobe Bryant setting the Madison Square Garden scoring record with 61 points, LeBron James punished the Knicks for a triple-double as the Cavaliers squeezed out a 107-102 victory over New York.
James' season-high 52 points, along with 11 assists and 10 rebounds made him the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to tally a triple-double while also scoring 50-plus points. His heroics also pitted the Knicks as the first team since December of 1962 to give up back-to-back 50-point games.
James and Michael Jordan are the only players to have multiple 50-point games at the present MSG.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 15 points and eight boards for the Cavs, who have won four in a row and eight of nine overall. Wally Szczerbiak chipped in 12 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
Al Harrington tied a season-high with 39 points and grabbed 13 boards for the Knicks, who have lost two in a row on the heels of winning six of seven. David Lee recorded his 37th double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in defeat.
Down 100-97, Harrington forced a Cleveland turnover which led to a pair of free throws from Lee that cut it to one with about two minutes left.
James hit a layup and Chris Duhon went 1-of-2 from the foul line before an Ilgauskas layup gave the visitors a 104-100 lead with just under a minute left.
Harrington missed a three on New York's next possession and James was fouled down the other end on a layup attempt with 22.2 ticks left. He went 2-of-2 from the stripe to make it a six-point affair.
Following a timeout, Wilson Chandler and Duhon each missed three-point tries before Harrington dropped in a layup with 11.3 seconds showing to make it a four-point game.
The Knicks failed to get any closer.
James' 20 points in the first quarter led to a 36-24 Cleveland advantage heading into the second stanza. New York, though, outscored Cleveland 28-21 in the second frame to cut it to 57-52 at the break.
Down by seven, Nate Robinson drained a three to cut it to 73-69 with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
The teams traded baskets before a Harrington bank shot and Tim Thomas three- pointer gave the Knicks their first lead of the game, 78-77, with just under 1 1/2 minutes left in the third.
James answered with a three-point play and J.J. Hickson put in a layup to propel the Cavs to an 82-78 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
Robinson's jumper and two free throws from Danilo Gallinari brought the Knicks within 85-82 early in the fourth.
Still down by three points with possession and 2:48 left, Thomas' foul on James gave the Cavs the ball and prevented the home team from a potential game-tying three-pointer.