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Originally published Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 9:34 PM

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Knicks find way past Cavaliers despite missing Anthony

Kyrie Irving had a career-high 41 points for Cleveland, but New York still managed a 103-102 win Saturday.

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NEW YORK — Once they outlasted Kyrie Irving, the New York Knicks could turn their attention to the next point guard coming to Madison Square Garden.

Even Linsanity shouldn't be as tough to deal with as the guy wearing the black mask Saturday night.

Raymond Felton scored 25 points, Tyson Chandler had 23, and the New York Knicks overcame a career-high 41 points from Irving, who wore a black protective mask after breaking a bone in his face against Milwaukee on Friday, as well as the absence of Carmelo Anthony to post a 103-102 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Knicks won their fourth straight when Anderson Varejao missed the second of two free throws with one second left. They improved the NBA's only unbeaten home record to 10-0, their best start since the 1991-92 team won its first 11 at Madison Square Garden.

"Guys stepped up. Raymond played great, Tyson played great, and it was just enough," Knicks forward Steve Novak said.

Anthony, the NBA's No. 2 scorer, missed the game after spraining his left ankle Thursday in the third quarter of a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. But Chandler scored 21 in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Felton and Jason Kidd combined for 15 assists.

The Knicks improved to 2-1 without Anthony, adding this to a surprising rout in Miami on Dec. 6.

T-Wolves win in

Rubio's return

MINNEAPOLIS — It was as if Ricky Rubio never left.

Zipping passes between his legs for the first time in nine months, Rubio had nine assists and eight points in 19 minutes to help the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 114-106 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Andrei Kirilenko scored five of his 14 points in overtime while Rubio watched from the bench because of a minutes restriction on his surgically repaired left knee. Rubio tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee in March.

The Wolves won their fourth straight despite playing without All-Star Kevin Love, out with an illness.

Notes

LeBron James scored 23 points — his 26th straight regular-season game with 20 points and 42nd overall — as Miami beat visiting Washington 102-72.

• Former Rainier Beach and Washington Husky Nate Robinson (six points) started in place of the injured Kirk Hinrich and helped Chicago hold off visiting Brooklyn 83-82. Joakim Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds and forced a key turnover late for the Bulls.

Blake Griffin had 18 points and 11 rebounds and former Rainier Beach standout Jamal Crawford contributed six points as the Los Angeles Clippers won their ninth straight, 111-85 at Milwaukee. It's the franchise's longest winning streak since 1974-75 when it was the Buffalo Braves.


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