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HomeNewsJulius Randle returns, and Knicks hold off Cavaliers in thrilling Game 1...

Julius Randle returns, and Knicks hold off Cavaliers in thrilling Game 1 finish

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The fifth-seeded New York Knicks had their justifiable share of accidents all through the 2022-23 common season. However the group lastly obtained some excellent news on the damage entrance forward of Saturday’s playoff sport in opposition to the Cavaliers. 

Julius Randle, who had been coping with a left ankle sprain, returned to the lineup Saturday after lacking greater than two weeks of motion. He performed 34 minutes and completed with 19 factors.

Jalen Brunson shook off foul bother to attain a team-high 27 factors, and he and Randle lifted the Knicks to a 101-97 Sport 1 victory over the Cavs within the first spherical.

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The New York Knicks' Obi Toppin (1) high-fives Jalen Brunson (11) against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs April 15, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

The New York Knicks’ Obi Toppin (1) high-fives Jalen Brunson (11) in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers throughout Sport 1 of the primary spherical of the NBA Playoffs April 15, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. (David Liam Kyle/NBAE by way of Getty Photos)

Josh Hart, who the Knicks acquired previous to this yr’s commerce deadline, registered 17 factors and 10 rebounds within the first postseason sport of his profession.

Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell sparked a late rally, however Brunson hit a number of massive pictures down the stretch to finish the Cavs’ comeback hopes.

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The Cavs have been inside two factors of the Knicks within the sport’s remaining seconds when Brunson missed a shot. However Randle grabbed his tenth rebound of the evening and handed to Quentin Grimes, who was fouled with simply 4 seconds left.

Isaiah Hartenstein (55) of the New York Knicks boxes out during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs April 15, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

Isaiah Hartenstein (55) of the New York Knicks bins out throughout a sport in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the course of the first spherical of the 2023 NBA Playoffs April 15, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. (David Liam Kyle/NBAE by way of Getty Photos)

Grimes made each free throws, and the Knicks completed off the Cavs and upset a raucous, towel-waving Cleveland crowd that got here alive within the fourth quarter when Mitchell scored 14 to deliver the Cavs again.

Mitchell completed with 38 for the Cavs, who returned to the playoff stage for the primary time for the reason that 2018 NBA Finals. 

Jalen Brunson (11) of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball during Game 1 of a first-round 2023 NBA playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers April 15, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

Jalen Brunson (11) of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball throughout Sport 1 of a first-round 2023 NBA playoff collection in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers April 15, 2023, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. (Lauren Leigh Bacho/NBAE by way of Getty Photos)

The Knicks’ bench outscored the Cavs’ reserves 37-14.

Jarrett Allen had 14 factors and 14 rebounds for Cleveland.

Brunson picked up his second foul with 7:52 left within the first quarter, and coach Tom Thibodeau had no alternative however to switch the guard, who scored a career-high 48 factors in opposition to the Cavs March 31.

However Cleveland did not capitalize, and New York reeled off 10 straight factors and led 30-24 after one.

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Sport 2 is Tuesday evening at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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