The visiting New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers will try to recover from narrow losses when they meet for the third time this season Monday evening. The Knicks had a one-point lead with under a minute to play before falling 90-87 to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night at home, dropping to 1-8 since a New Year's Day win.
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"This was a tough one to swallow, because for that last couple seconds, we thought we got control of it," forward Marcus Morris told reporters after the loss. "We played our (rear) off." The Cavaliers lost four in a row after blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter advantage at Chicago on Saturday. Kevin Love scored 29 points and Collin Sexton added 26 but Cleveland played some sloppy ball and fell despite tying its season high by shooting 54.1 percent from the floor. "It stings to lose this game," coach John Beilein told reporters. "Forget about the lead that we had ... we're just better than 26 turnovers. We sometimes get a little too anxious or try to do too much and we have to work harder as a coaching staff at fundamentals."
TIME: 5 p.m. ET. TV: MSG, FS Ohio
ABOUT THE KNICKS (11-32): New York's bench combined to shoot 7-of-25 from the floor and had a combined rating of minus-42 in Saturday's loss, while the starters all had an even rating or better. Julius Randle recorded his team-leading 17th double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Morris had a team-high 20 points, but execution in the closing seconds spoiled a comeback bid. "That's one we should have had," Morris added. "Guys came [out] in the second half and emphasized turning up our physicality. That's what we did. We played really well in the second half. That's a good team over there. We just broke down at the end, they hit a big shot."
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (12-31): Sexton is averaging 26.3 points on 51.7 percent shooting over his past three games. Fellow starting guard Darius Garland has scored in double figures in 12 straight games, the longest active streak for a first-year player in the NBA, and Love has produced at least 17 points in six consecutive contests. The 31-year-old Love owns 720 3-pointers in his career with Cleveland, three away from tying Kyrie Irving for third place on the franchise list.
1. Cavaliers SF Cedi Osman is 13-for-24 from 3-point range during his team's four-game losing streak, even with an 0-for-5 effort at Memphis on Friday.
2. Knicks PG Elfrid Payton has 24 assists and four turnovers over his last four games.
3. The teams split two earlier meetings at Madison Square Garden, with Cleveland winning by 21 on Nov. 10 and then losing by 18 just eight days later.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 121, Knicks 114 Bet Now
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