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CAVS' `D' PICKS KNICKS APART IN 90-84 WIN TO EVEN SERIES

Chris Mills and Bobby Phills gave Cleveland the little bit of offense it needed, and the Cavaliers showed again Saturday why they had the NBA's stingiest defense in 40 years.

Mills hit all four of his 3-pointers and scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, and Phills also scored 21 points as the Cavs beat the New York Knicks 90-84 to tie the best-of-5 playoff series 1-1.Mills, who played just 14 minutes and scored six points in Game 1 as the Cavaliers were routed 103-79, hit the biggest shot of the second game, a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left that gave them an 86-82 lead. The shot highlighted an 11-0 run that turned an 82-79 deficit into a 90-82 lead with 9.7 seconds left.

"When that shot dropped, it was a big relief because it felt like it put the game in our hands," Mills said. "I didn't hesitate in the second half. I put the ball right up. It seemed like the Knicks didn't rotate to guard me as quickly as before."

"That was a huge shot," Cavs coach Mike Fratello said. "He caught it with confidence, stroked it and it was just huge."

But it was defense that won the game for Cleveland. After allowing 63 percent shooting accuracy in Game 1, the Cavs forced 26 turnovers and held the Knicks scoreless for 2:37 down the stretch.

"After the game they had the other night, like the pros they are, they were mentally right," Knicks coach Pat Riley said of the Cavaliers. "They were more mentally right than we were."

Cleveland can now win the series with victories at home Monday and Thursday, but the Cavs lost to the Knicks twice at Gund Arena during the regular season.

No one in the Cavs starting lineup scored in double figures in Game 1, but all five made it Saturday. Besides Mills and Phills, Mark Price scored 15 and Tyrone Hill and John Williams 10 each.

That gave the starters 77 points, compared to 29 in the first game.

"New York's defense was on the run a little more today," Price said. "They had to chase down more passes and fight through more screens. We made it easy for them Thursday night."

The Cavs, who gave up a 40-year low of 89.8 points per game in the regular season, led 77-73 with 41/2 minutes left. But the Knicks rallied to take a 78-77 lead with 3:54 left.