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Published: Wednesday, 3/6/2013

Cavaliers rally behind Irving to top Jazz

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving scored 20 points and made all the big plays down the stretch, rallying the Cavaliers to a 104-101 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

The Cavs trailed 100-92 with less than three minutes left before Irving took over. He scored eight points, made a steal and assisted on Wayne Ellington's dunk as Cleveland stormed back to stun the Jazz.

Irving added 10 assists in his second game back after missing three with a hyperextended knee. Tristan Thompson had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland, which trailed by 12 in the fourth.

Gordon Hayward scored 25 and Enes Kanter had 17 for the Jazz, who have lost five of six.

After Ellington's dunk, Utah's Mo Williams missed a layup that danced around the rim but wouldn't drop.

Irving and the Cavaliers were sleepwalking for more than 45 minutes before finally snapping to life.

With Cleveland trailing 100-92, Irving made a gorgeous baseline spin and dropped a short jumper. He then split a pair of free throws and dropped two more to bring the Cavs within 101-97 with 1:40 remaining.

Williams, who returned to Utah's starting lineup after missing 32 games with a thumb injury, missed a 3-pointer before Irving converted a three-point play to bring Cleveland within one.

On Utah's next trip, Irving poked the ball away from Hayward, dribbled up the floor and fed Ellington, who finished strong at the rim to make it 102-101.

Ellington's two free throws made it 104-101, and Williams was short with a 3-pointer in the final second.

It was a crushing loss for the Jazz, who are trying to hold off the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Knicks beat Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Raymond Felton scored 26 points, and the New York Knicks pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Detroit Pistons 87-77 despite Carmelo Anthony's absence.

Anthony sat out after injuring his right knee Monday, but New York went on a 16-0 run in the fourth to put away the game. The Pistons were without Greg Monroe, who has a sore left ankle, and Detroit coach Lawrence Frank missed the game because of a personal matter.

The Knicks turned the ball over 11 times in the first quarter, but they still led 44-38 at the half. Brandon Knight scored 17 points for the Pistons and led a third-quarter rally, but Detroit managed only 12 points in the fourth.

The Pistons were actually without their top two big men because rookie Andre Drummond is out with a stress fracture in his back. Amare Stoudemire took advantage, scoring 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, but Tyson Chandler scored only two points.

New York ended up taking 35 shots from 3-point range against the undermanned Pistons, making 13.

The Knicks trailed 73-71 when they went on their decisive run. J.R. Smith finished 20 points.

Detroit controlled the start of the third. Knight scored 11 of his team's 13 points in one stretch and gave the Pistons a 65-55 lead when he made a 3-pointerat 2:44, but Detroit didn't score for the rest of the quarter.



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