Basketball: James inspires Cavaliers to beat Knicks and record 8th straight win of season

Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks tries to get around LeBron James (23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter.
Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks tries to get around LeBron James (23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter.PHOTO: AFP

Los Angeles (AFP) - The Cleveland Cavaliers are off to their best NBA start in 39 years after coming from behind on Friday night to beat the New York Knicks for the second time in just nine days.

LeBron James and Mo Williams ignited the fourth-quarter rally, combining for 21 of Cleveland's 24 fourth-quarter points in a 90-84 victory at Madison Square Garden.

The Cavaliers won their eighth straight, a stretch that includes a 96-86 home win on Nov 4 after coming back from a 15-point deficit against the same Knicks.

James also had a spectacular fourth quarter in that one, and Cleveland are now 8-1 to start the season for the first time since the 1976-77 NBA campaign.

The same can't be said for Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony who had a team-high 26 points but scored only four in the second half. Coming into the contest, he was shooting 31.7 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to 51.2 per cent for James.