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Cavs top Knicks in Stoudemire's return to lineup

Kyrie Irving scored 21 points on Friday and the Cavaliers downed the Knicks, 98-90.

Manny Harris added 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for Cleveland, which halted a three-game losing streak. Samardo Samuels chipped in 15 points.

Amare Stoudemire returned to the New York lineup after missing 13 straight games and scored 15 points. Steve Novak also had 15 while Carmelo Anthony finished with 12 on 5-of-13 shooting.

The Knicks, who have already clinched a playoff berth, sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the 76ers.

The Cavaliers scored the final six points of the first quarter to go up 25-20, then definitively grabbed control in the second. They were up 32-23 near the midway point courtesy of Harris' transition layup and took a 45-34 lead into the break behind 13 first-half points from Irving.

New York never reclaimed the advantage and Irving, Samuels and Antawn Jamison combined for seven straight points to end the third quarter, stretching the margin to 72-56.

Early in the fourth, Harris gathered a loose ball near half court and heaved in a three-point bank shot as the shot clock expired, making it 77-60. Donald Sloan followed with a layup on Cleveland's next possession, marking the largest lead of the game for either team.

The Knicks, losers of 10 straight games in Cleveland, failed to threaten the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Stoudemire was out due to a bulging disk in his lower back...The Knicks signed center Dan Gadzuric and waived forward Bill Walker prior to Friday night's game. Gadzuric split time between the Warriors and Nets last season, averaging 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in a combined 42 games...Earlier Friday, the Cavaliers announced that they will be without forward/center Anderson Varejao the remainder of the season due to a fractured right wrist. The team announced that Varejao's healing has progressed well, but his full recovery isn't complete and he's experiencing soreness in the wrist, which was injured in a February 10 game against the Milwaukee Bucks.