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CLEVELAND — Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points with 14 rebounds in just three quarters and the New York Knicks bounced back after having their winning streak stopped at 13 games one night earlier by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-91 on Friday night.
Anthony’s streak of scoring at least 35 points ended at six games as New York coach Mike Woodson chose to rest the all-star forward the entire fourth quarter.
J.R. Smith also scored 31 — 13 in the fourth while Anthony watched — for New York, which is trying to hold off Indiana for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Knicks have a three-game lead over the Pacers with three games remaining for both teams, heading into their matchup on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Kyrie Irving scored 31 for the Cavs, who are 4-17 since March 1.
Irving attempted a career-high 27 shots.
Anthony came in as the NBA's scoring leader, averaging 28.7 points per game and he did what he needed to keep the pressure on Kevin Durant (28.3) as they battle for the scoring title with just a few days left in the season.
Anthony scored 14 in the third quarter, helping the Knicks open an 11-point lead entering the fourth.
New York was determined to erase the taste of Thursday's 118-111 overtime loss in Chicago, the Knicks first since March 17.