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Knicks rout Cavaliers 99-79 at MSG to take 2-1 lead

NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 21 points, RJ Barrett broke out of a slump with 19 and the New York Knicks held the Cleveland Cavaliers to the lowest point total in the NBA this season, rolling to a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series with a 99-79 victory Friday night.

The Knicks emphatically bounced back from a loss in Game 2 and moved halfway to their first series victory since 2013. They led by 27 points in the fourth quarter, when a sold-out crowd of 19,812 at Madison Square Garden was so loud there was little chance of hearing much of what the public address announcer was saying — especially as seldom-used veteran Derrick Rose was checking into the game to a huge ovation.

Josh Hart added 13 points for the fifth-seeded Knicks, who host Game 4 on Sunday. They became the first team to allow fewer than 80 points during the regular season or postseason.

Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points for the Cavs, who never gave themselves a chance with their most inept offensive performance of the season. They hadn’t been held below 80 points all season, with their worst effort 81 points, also at the Knicks on Dec. 4.


ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young scored 32 points in his best game of the playoffs and Atlanta beating Boston to pull to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference series,

Young hit a step-back 3-pointer from the corner with 2:21 left and knocked down another huge basket on a floater in the lane with 45 seconds remaining after Jaylen Brown missed a 3-pointer that would’ve tied it for the Celtics.

The seventh-seeded Hawks will try to even the series against the second-seeded Celtics in Game 4 on Sunday night at State Farm Arena.

Jayson Tatum scored 29 points for Boston.

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The Associated Press