Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James added 12 assists and nine rebounds for the visiting Cavs, who were down by two dozen points in the third quarter before storming back for the victory.
Trailing 97-92, the Cavaliers went on a 10-0 run to grab the lead, James sinking a step-back 3-pointer to give Cleveland a 100-97 edge with 83 seconds remaining, their first lead since 25-24 in the second quarter.
“I thought his defense is what turned it,” Korver said of James. “He’s always going to get in the paint and make plays. That is where he is really special. He is able to do everything. And he showed that in the fourth quarter.”
Korver, who sank two 3-pointers in the last 4:35, made four late free throws to offset baskets by Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr.. James missed two late free throws but Jeff Green grabbed the rebound for Cleveland to deny the Knicks a potential tying shot at the buzzer.
Dwyane Wade added 15 off the bench for Cleveland while Hardaway led New York with 28 points and Porzingis added 20.
“King” James bumped French teen guard Frank Ntilikina early in the game and New York teammate Enes Kanter, a Turkish center, stood toe-to-toe with James, continuing a spat that began on social media that extended to post-game comments.
“You can’t just come in and mess with a rookie like that. Mess with a grown man,” Kanter said. “You can call yourself King, Queen, Princess, whatever, but you can’t punk us.”
Told of the remarks, James said, “We got the win. I’m not going to say that guy’s name again.”
Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 110-103 victory over visiting Memphis. John Henson and Khris Middleton each added 17 for Milwaukee while Tyreke Evans led the Grizzlies with 27, 14 of them in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans forward Darius Miller sank four 3-pointers in the final 5:45 and netted 14 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lift host New Orleans over Atlanta 106-105. E’Twaun Moore led the Pelicans with 24 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 22 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.
Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points in 25 minutes off the bench to help the Los Angeles Lakers defeat host Phoenix 100-93. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 15 points and Brook Lopez added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers (6-8), who ended a three-game losing streak. Devin Booker scored 36 points for Phoenix (5-10).
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while Jimmy Butler added 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves over host Utah 109-98.
C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic each scored 17 points to lead the Portland trail Blazers over visiting Denver 99-82.
John Wall scored 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range, as the Washington Wizards downed visiting Sacramento 110-92. Marcin Gortat had 18 points and Otto Porter added 15 for the Wizards (8-5), who won their third consecutive game.