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The NBA champion Golden State Warriors and beaten finalists Cleveland tumbled Sunday as early season struggles continued for the league’s powerhouse teams. Tim Hardaway Jr and Kristaps Porzingis combined for 66 points to lead the New York Knicks to a 114-95 victory over the Cavs in Cleveland. In Oakland, California, the Warriors coughed up 25 turnovers in a 115-107 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
The Knicks notched their first win over the Cavs since October 30, 2014, ending a 10-game losing streak against the Cavs, tipped before the season to be headed to the finals for a fourth time.
Hardaway scored 34 points and Porzingis added 32 with 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who handed LeBron James and the Cavaliers a fourth defeat in eight days. “Tonight’s loss and the last couple are unacceptable, and the only way we’re going to be able to get out of it is to put the work in, as players, as coaches. And we’re going to do that,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.
A day after falling to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Cavaliers looked lethargic as they trailed by 18 points in the third quarter. They trimmed the deficit to 94-88 on a James layup with 8:20 to play before the Knicks regained control.
Kevin Love again led Cleveland with 22 points and 11 rebounds. James added 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and said it’s too early in the season to worry. “What is this? October? I’m not about to go crazy over it right now,” James said.
While the Cavs have struggled with slow starts, the Warriors have been finding it hard to hold onto leads. Golden State squandered a 14-point third-quarter advantage over Detroit, who shot just 46.2 per cent from the field but benefitted from the Warriors’ sloppy play. The Warriors connected on a blistering 61.4 per cent of their shots over the first three periods, but trailed 101-88 at 6:25 of the fourth quarter. -AFP