Knicks go for third straight win, visit Cavs

12:40 PM, Mar 8, 2014   |    comments
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( - Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks target a rare three-game winning streak when they roll into Cleveland Saturday for a matchup with the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Knicks have won back-to-back games for the first time since a four-game winning streak from Jan. 24-30. They ended a seven-game slide with a win at Minnesota on Wednesday and are coming off Friday's 108-81 beating of Utah at Madison Square Garden, as Anthony led the way with 29 points.

Anthony is averaging 32.2 points in his past 12 games for the Knicks, who received 17 points from J.R. Smith and 16 and 11 rebounds out of Tyson Chandler. Chandler is posting an average of 11.2 points and 15.0 rebounds in his last 10 games with six double-doubles in that time.

"Right now we have to try and win as many basketball games as possible to make it to the playoffs," said Chandler. "My job as a leader is to do whatever it takes to win basketball games."

New York, which sits 4 1/2 games off a playoff spot, is 10-20 on the road and will host Philadelphia on Monday.

In front office news for the Knicks, the Daily News is reporting Phil Jackson was offered a position with the storied franchise and is expected to make a decision next week. Jackson played for the Knicks and won 11 titles as head coach of the Bulls and Lakers.

Jackson is reportedly not interested in coaching.

Meanwhile, Cleveland is 3 1/2 games out in the race for a postseason berth and hopes to get back in gear versus New York.

The Cavaliers have lost three in a row and six of the last eight games, including Friday's 101-92 defeat at Charlotte. Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker combined for 48 points for the Bobcats, while Luol Deng and Dion Waiter scored 19 points apiece in defeat.

Kyrie Irving and Spencer Hawes both had 13 points for the Cavs.

Cleveland hasn't been to the playoffs since 2009-10 and the road ahead is a tough one. The Cavs, who have a 15-16 home record, will next visit Phoenix, Golden State and the L.A. Clippers before returning to the Q on March 18 to start a three-game stay versus Miami, Oklahoma City and Houston.

"We have an opportunity to do some great things, not just for us but for the city of Cleveland," said Waiters. "I just want to taste the playoffs, that atmosphere. We have the best fans in the world, why not give them something to cheer about? Time is ticking, everybody needs to be locked in, including myself."

The Cavs and Knicks have split two meetings this season, but New York is 7-3 in the last 10 games in this series. However, the Knicks have struggled recently in Cleveland, losing 11 of 13 visits there.

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