Morris leads Knicks past Cavaliers 139-134 in overtime
By STEVE HERRICK Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Kevin Love doesn’t know what the future holds. All he can do is make the most of the present.
Right now, that’s not easy in Cleveland.
Love scored a season-high 33 points in possibly his final home game with the Cavaliers, but Marcus Morris Sr. led the New York Knicks to a 139-134 overtime victory Monday night.
Morris’ basket from the left wing gave New York a 135-134 lead with a minute to play. He added another jumper and two free throws on his way to 26 points.
The Cavaliers lost for the 11th time in 12 games. They have dropped 11 straight at home.
Love, the subject of trade rumors ahead of Thursday’s deadline, was 12 of 20 from the field. He also grabbed 13 rebounds.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Love said. “We’ll let the chips fall. I’ve been saying that, but I expect to probably finish the season out here and continue to play extremely hard.”
Love hit a jumper to put Cleveland ahead 134-133 with 1:19 left.
Morris missed the morning shoot-around because of an illness. He was 8 of 15 from the field and made all eight of his free throws.
“I’ve still got a little stomach virus there, but I’m good,” Morris said.
New York’s Elfrid Payton, returning from a one-game suspension, had 17 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds for his first triple-double of the season.
Cleveland led 118-108 with five minutes to play in regulation, but New York rallied behind Morris, who scored 10 points in the quarter to push the Knicks ahead.
“We took it kind of bitter,” Morris said of the deficit. “I told the guys, ‘Step up right now, the game is not over.’ I got into positions, they got the ball where I needed it, and I just made it happen.”
Julius Randle’s layup gave New York a 127-124 lead before Collin Sexton’s 3-pointer tied the game with 13 seconds left. Morris missed a jumper, but the Knicks got the rebound and called timeout. Morris’ jumper from the left corner rimmed out at the buzzer
Sexton had 29 points for Cleveland, going 11 of 22 from the field. The Cavaliers (13-38) are tied with Atlanta for the worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland center Tristan Thompson, also the subject of trade rumors, was sidelined by a sore right quad. He worked out on the court before the game and the team announced he was out 45 minutes prior to tip-off.
Coach John Beilein said Thompson got treatment after the shoot-around, but the leg was still bothering him before the game.
Knicks: Randle (sore quad) was listed as probable, but he scored 20 points. … Dennis Smith scored 15. … G Frank Ntilikina (groin) returned after missing two games. He was hurt Jan. 28 at Charlotte.
Cavaliers: Thompson watched the second half from the bench. … Larry Nance Jr. started at center and scored 18 points. He was hit with a technical for giving a sarcastic thumbs up to an official after not getting a call as the first half ended. … F Alfonso McKinnie’s second 10-day contract expired and he’s now a free agent.
A LOOK BACK
The Cavaliers acquired Love from Minnesota in 2014. He was a key part of a team that won the championship in 2016 and made the Finals every year from 2015-18.
“When my time’s done here I’ll reflect on how amazing it is and was,” he said. “I’ve known so many great people here and had so many great moments.”
The Knicks have won three of five, including two straight on the road. New York won at Indiana on Saturday.
“The way Marcus closed the game was great,” coach Mike Miller said. “We did a good job getting him shots where he needed it.”
Knicks: Host Orlando on Thursday.
Cavaliers: Visit Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
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