The New York Knicks are one loss away from establishing the longest losing streak in a franchise history spanning more than 70 seasons. They will try to avoid that fate when they carry a 16-game slide into Cleveland on Monday to take on the Cavaliers in a matchup of the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.
New York gave the Toronto Raptors all they could handle before falling 104-99 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday to match the club's longest losing streak, first accomplished during the 2014-15 season. "We understand what this year is," Knicks coach David Fizdale told reporters after his team also dropped its 16th straight at home. "Whatever happens to us this year will not make us crack or waver." The Cavaliers have lost four in a row and 22 of of their last 25. They enter Monday a half-game up on the last-place Knicks in the East after losing 105-90 at Indiana on Saturday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FS Ohio (Cleveland) LINE: Cavaliers -1.5
ABOUT THE KNICKS (10-45): A bright spot of late has been the play of rookie center Mitchell Robinson, who is averaging 13 points on 76.2 percent shooting to go along with 7.7 rebounds in just 20.3 minutes over his last three games. Some of the solid play could be tied to the recent acquisition of veteran big man DeAndre Jordan, now a mentor for many of the team's youngsters. "Anytime you can help another player out, I'm learning that's the beauty of our league," Jordan told reporters of his role. "I had a lot of veteran guys who taught me things. It would be a disservice to them if I didn't help other guys out."
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (11-45): Power forward Kevin Love returned from a 50-game absence Friday at Washington, playing six minutes, and point guard Brandon Knight made his team debut in Saturday's loss. "I was really glad to see him out on the floor, number one," coach Larry Drew told reporters of Knight, who was acquired in a three-team trade last week. "When he made his first couple shots, I really felt good for him. I know he's capable of making 3s. Hopefully moving forward we'll increase his minutes." Knight made all three of his 3-point tries and handed out two assists in 12 minutes Saturday.
1. PG Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 113-106 win in the first meeting on Dec. 12.
2. The Knicks are 0-17 when scoring fewer than 100 points.
3. Cleveland PF Larry Nance Jr. has recorded a career-best five straight double-doubles.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 107, Knicks 102 Bet Now
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