NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 6th (All times eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (3-3) at New York Knicks (1-4), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers didn't suffer their fourth loss last season until December 13. They've already dropped three games in 2009-10 and will try to avoid another two-game slide tonight against the New York Knicks in the opener of a three-game road trip at Madison Square Garden.
The Cavs opened the new season with consecutive defeats before rebounding with three wins in a row. However, they were sent back to the loss column with Thursday's 86-85 setback versus the Chicago Bulls at Quicken Loans Arena. LeBron James ended with 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and was denied by Bulls forward Luol Deng on a last-second drive to the hoop.
Shaquille O'Neal chipped in 14 points, 10 boards and five blocks for the Cavaliers, who have already lost twice at home this season to match the total from all of 2008-09 (39-2). Anderson Varejao notched 12 points and 13 rebounds in a losing cause.
"We have a lot of resolve," said O'Neal. "In the three games we have lost, we pretty much beat ourselves by what we're not doing. Once we master that, then we'll be fine."
Cleveland will also visit Orlando and Miami on the road swing after its stop in the Big Apple, a possible destination for James in 2010-11. James will be a free agent after this season, and could also re-sign with the Cavs.
New York will close out a four-game homestand Friday and fell to 1-4 this season after Wednesday's 101-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
David Lee had 20 points and 19 boards for the Knicks, who missed their last 12 shots from the floor and fell to 1-2 on the residency. Al Harrington recorded a team-high 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds in defeat.
"I don't know if it's a question of trying it too hard or wanting it too bad," Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni said. "But we are going to have to do a better job than that."
D'Antoni lost all four matchups with Cleveland last year, while the Cavaliers have won five straight and nine of the past 12 meetings. The Cavs are unbeaten in their last three trips to Madison Square Garden.
11/06 10:48:23 ET