CLEVELAND — Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points and a basket by Rodney Hood in the fourth quarter gave Cleveland a late lead as the Cavaliers defeated the New York Knicks 113-106 on Wednesday after squandering a 22-point lead.
Hood put the Cavaliers in front 107-106 with 23 seconds remaining after New York took a one-point lead on rookie Kevin Knox’s fast-break dunk with 32 seconds left.
Hood added 23 points, rookie Collin Sexton scored 19 and Matthew Dellavedova, playing his first him game for Cleveland since being re-acquired from Milwaukee, had 15 points.
Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway each scored 20 points for New York, which lost its fifth straight. Knox, moved into the starting lineup before the game, finished with 19.
Emmanuel Mudiay missed in the lane following Hood’s basket and Cedi Osman made two free throws, putting Cleveland up by three points. Larry Nance Jr. stole Mudiay’s inbounds pass and Dellavedova’s two free throws pushed the Cavaliers lead to 111-106.
Cleveland led 53-31 midway through the second quarter, but New York began a flurry that carried through the third period and tied the game at 86.
Cleveland played its first game without center Tristan Thompson, who could miss a month with a sprained left foot.
The matchup of teams near the bottom of the Eastern Conference began as a blowout, but turned into a tight contest.
Cleveland hit 15 of 28 shots in the first quarter and built a 53-31 lead midway through the second. Kanter helped move the Knicks closer with nine points in the quarter.
New York’s run continued in the third quarter and Cleveland coach Larry Drew called two timeouts in the first four minutes of the period.
Hardaway hit a pair of 3-pointers and Kanter scored on a tip-in before Noah Vonleh’s layup tied the game for the first time since the score was 8-8, three minutes into the game.
Dellavedova received a standing ovation when he entered in the first quarter. Dellavedova hit his first 3-pointers in the half, leading to a bigger ovation with each shot.
Thompson is averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds in 27 games. The eighth-year veteran was injured when he twisted his foot while landing on the foot of Milwaukee guard Malcolm Brogdon on Monday.
Knicks: Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina each scored 16 points. ... New York took a 6-4 lead, but was outscored 33-17 the rest of the first quarter. ... New York is 5-11 on the road.
Cavaliers: Drew missed the team’s shootaround because of an illness, but did his pregame meeting with the media and was on the bench during the game. ... Channing Frye started at center. ... F David Nwaba returned after missing eight games because of a sore right knee.
Knicks: Visit Charlotte on Friday.
Cavaliers: Host Milwaukee on Friday.