Knicks end long drought, beat Cavs


NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks are back in the playoffs, clinching their first postseason berth since 2004 with a 123-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday behind 28 points from Amare Stoudemire.

Shortly after Charlotte’s home loss to Washington, the Knicks snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Cavaliers to secure their spot. They are seventh in the Eastern Conference, but closed within 1 1/2 games of the 76ers, with a game in Philadelphia this week.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and Chauncey Billups added 23 for New York, which was tied with Minnesota for the NBA’s longest playoff absence. The Knicks evened their record at 38-38 as they try to end an even longer drought, a franchise-worst stretch of nine straight losing seasons.

Stoudemire proclaimed the Knicks were back even before officially signing in July, and snapped out of a recent slump in time to ensure the return of playoff basketball to Madison Square Garden.

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