CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Cavaliers may have won Monday night's matchup in New York against the Knicks but it was a win they definitely had to earn.
Tempers flared soon after tip-off, probably because of comments LeBron James made on Saturday.
After playing in Dallas, James said his friend and NBA guard Dennis Smith Jr. should be a Knick. New York took Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick in the June draft, one spot before the Mavericks selected Smith.
Monday, at the Cavs shootaround before their game in New York, he clarified his remarks.
"Like I said, it's no shade at Frank [Ntilikina]. I don't even know the kid. I wasn't even thinking about the kid when I was talking about Dennis Smith. I was thinking about the Knicks organization and Phil Jackson at the time and Dennis Smith's talent and Porzingis," James said.
That, apparently wasn't good enough because during the first quarter, Ntilikina pushed LeBron after he didn't move following a dunk so he could get the ball inbounds.
Enes Kanter quickly came to the rookie's rescue. The two had words, James shoved Kanter and the result - two technical fouls.
During postgame comments Kanter explained why he got involved in the spat, but not without taking a dig at James in the process.
"I don't care ... what you call yourself. King, Queen, Princess, whatever you are. You know what, we're going to fight and nobody out there (is) going to punk us," Kanter said.
James' response, "I'm the King, my wife is the Queen and my daughter is the Princess," he said. "So we got all three covered."
Final score, Cavs 104 Knicks 101. Next stop, Charlotte on Wednesday.
Watch highlights of Monday night's Cavs VS. Knicks game below.
LeBron had 23 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Kyle Korver added 21 points. He scored 19 of those in the fourth quarter.