The Cleveland Cavaliers are starting to turn New York Knicks‘ trash into gold.
After getting waived by the Knicks, the Cavaliers saw something in Damyean Dotson that warranted a two-year deal.
On Friday night, Dotson got his opportunity to repay the Cavaliers and get back at the Knicks.
Dotson delivered the big blows as the Cavaliers extended the Knicks’ losing streak to five, 106-103, at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
The Cavaliers snapped their three-game losing skid with Dotson stepping up to fill the hole left by the injured Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
A former Knicks’ second-round pick, Dotson has found his niche with the Cavaliers. As a fill-in starter, he played 40 minutes against his former team, producing 13 points, four boards, and four dimes.
Dotson scored seven clutch points in the final quarter as a closer. He started to take over with a triple inside the final 2:46 that gave the Cavaliers a five-point cushion, 98-93.
RJ Barrett committed two costly errors down the stretch, which Dotson and the Cavaliers pounced to pull off the close win.
The Knicks pulled within one, 98-97, on a Barrett tough jumper to beat the shot clock.
Then the Knicks unraveled.
Barrett quickly turned from hero to zero. He lost the ball to Andre Drummond, which led to a clear-path foul by Julius Randle.
Dotson calmly sank the two free throws, then added another layup in the Cavaliers’ bonus possession. Drummond sealed the win with another steal on Barrett.
Barrett’s erratic play late in the game dampened his second straight efficient shooting. He finished with 20 points on 7-of-12 field goal shooting.
Drummond had a monster game — 33 points, 23 rebounds, three assists, two steaks, and two blocks — to lead the Cavaliers.
The big man already had a double-double in the opening half with 20 points and 14 rebounds — a feat never done by a Cavalier in more than 20 years, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Drummond is also the first player in the NBA to log in a double-double in any half since reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did it last March.
The Knicks’ eight loss flushed Immanuel Quickley’s career night down the drain. For the second straight game, Quickley was the Knicks’ best point guard. He kept them afloat with a career-high 23 points off the bench.
Quickley spearheaded a late third-quarter run with the help of Nerlens Noel, who had a season-high six blocks. The Knicks wiped out a second-half 12-point deficit.
Game of runs
A 16-0 run bridging the third and final quarter had the Knicks taking a four-point lead, 84-80. But Drummond could not be contained down low. He teamed up with Cedi Osman as the Cavaliers took the lead for good with a 9-0 counter-attack.
Osman fired 25 points, including 10 in the third, and added five assists.
Barrett and the Knicks need to forget quickly as they gear up for a back-to-back game against the Boston Celtics on Sunday and the Orlando Magic on Monday.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo