Baron Davis scored 18 points in his Cavaliers debut, leading a stunning rally in the fourth quarter as Cleveland beat the New York Knicks for the 11th straight time, 119-115 on Friday night.
J.J. Hickson scored 23 and Luke Harangody also had 18, but the spark came from Davis in his first game since his trade from the Los Angeles Clippers last week. He scored 12 points in the final 6-plus minutes after the Knicks had built a 12-point lead, including a 3-pointer that gave Cleveland a 116-112 lead with 10.6 seconds left.
Amare Stoudemire answered with a 3 for the Knicks, but after a free throw by Ramon Sessions, Carmelo Anthony was called for a charging foul after he broke free of Anthony Parker's attempt to hold him, and the last-place Cavaliers beat the Knicks for the third time this season.
Stoudemire matched a season high with 41 points and Anthony added 29, but the Knicks still haven't defeated the Cavs since Dec. 19, 2007.
It appeared the skid would end Friday as the Knicks built a series of double-digit leads. But Davis, who hadn't played since the trade because of a sore left knee, made an immediate impact on the NBA's worst team.
Anthony Carter's 3-pointer sent the Knicks to the fourth quarter with an 88-85 lead, and it seemed their superior talent would take over from there. Anthony made the first basket of the quarter, then found fellow newcomer Shelden Williams for a dunk and a 92-85 lead 45 seconds into the period.
Anthony converted a spinning bucket in the lane with 10:07 remaining, sinking the free throw during a loud "Melo! Melo!" chant, then Stoudemire scored to extend it to 100-88.
But Davis had nine points in a 16-4 spurt, and Hickson and Samardo Samuels resumed contesting every New York shot at the rim as Cleveland battled back to tie it at 106 on Sessions' layup with 3:28 to play.
Stoudemire's jumper gave the Knicks a final lead at 112-110 with 58 seconds left, but Parker answered with a go-ahead 3 with 45 seconds remaining. New York failed to score and Cleveland ran the clock down before Davis, wearing No. 85, nailed a 3 from straightaway for a 116-112 advantage.
Stoudemire and Anthony were often unstoppable offensively. But New York badly missed Chauncey Billups down the stretch while he sat out a second straight game with a bruised left thigh.
When LeBron James wore the wine and gold, Cleveland would beat the Knicks with talent. Even though he's gone now, the Knicks still haven't been able to solve the Cavaliers. Cleveland was on a 10-game losing streak when it beat New York in overtime in December, which was its last victory before its NBA-record 26-game losing streak.
The Cavaliers then simply outworked the Knicks in the second meeting, racking up a 62-42 rebounding advantage in their 115-109 victory last Friday. This time, they snapped a two-game losing streak and showed they could be dangerous the rest of the way with Davis on the perimeter and Hickson attacking the backboards.
New York raced to a 22-10 lead midway through the first quarter, but Cleveland hit four 3-pointers late in the period, two by Davis, and tied it at 32 headed to the second. The Knicks pushed it back into double digits halfway through the second, but still couldn't shake the Cavs despite shooting 60.5 percent in the half. New York led 64-58 at the break.
NOTES: Actress Jessica Alba, a friend of Davis, was seated courtside. ... The Knicks were wearing their home whites for the first time since Feb. 9. They had been wearing blue road uniforms from the 1969-70 championship season as part of the NBA's "hardwood classic" series during their last four home games.