The fifth-seeded New York Knicks had their fair share of injuries throughout the 2022-23 regular season. But the team finally received some good news on the injury front ahead of Saturday’s playoff game against the Cavaliers.
Julius Randle, who had been dealing with a left ankle sprain, returned to the lineup Saturday after missing more than two weeks of action. He played 34 minutes and finished with 19 points.
Jalen Brunson shook off foul trouble to score a team-high 27 points, and he and Randle lifted the Knicks to a 101-97 Game 1 victory over the Cavs in the first round.
Josh Hart, who the Knicks acquired prior to this year’s trade deadline, registered 17 points and 10 rebounds in the first postseason game of his career.
Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell sparked a late rally, but Brunson hit several big shots down the stretch to end the Cavs’ comeback hopes.
HAWKS’ LATE RALLY FALLS SHORT AGAINST CELTICS; BOSTON TAKES 1-0 SERIES LEAD
The Cavs were within two points of the Knicks in the game’s final seconds when Brunson missed a shot. But Randle grabbed his 10th rebound of the night and passed to Quentin Grimes, who was fouled with just four seconds left.
Grimes made both free throws, and the Knicks finished off the Cavs and disappointed a raucous, towel-waving Cleveland crowd that came alive in the fourth quarter when Mitchell scored 14 to bring the Cavs back.
Mitchell finished with 38 for the Cavs, who returned to the playoff stage for the first time since the 2018 NBA Finals.
The Knicks’ bench outscored the Cavs’ reserves 37-14.
Jarrett Allen had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland.
Brunson picked up his second foul with 7:52 left in the first quarter, and coach Tom Thibodeau had no choice but to replace the guard, who scored a career-high 48 points against the Cavs March 31.
But Cleveland failed to capitalize, and New York reeled off 10 straight points and led 30-24 after one.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Read the full article here