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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, March 24th (All times eastern)

New Jersey Nets (29-41) at New York Knicks (19-50), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling rivals square off tonight, as the New York Knicks host the playoff-hopeful New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden.

The Nets have lost two straight, three of four and nine of their last 12 games, including Saturday's 91-87 setback to the Philadelphia 76ers in the opener of a two-game road trip at the Wachovia Center. Vince Carter contributed 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Nets, who have lost nine in a row away from the Meadowlands.

Devin Harris and Nenad Krstic both added 14 points, while Richard Jefferson ended with just 11 points in defeat. New Jersey is 1 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

Meanwhile, the Knicks will open a two-game homestand on Monday versus New Jersey and Miami. They are 12-23 at MSG this season and have dropped six in a row as the host.

New York last loss six in a row at MSG from November 29 - December 20 of the 1986 season. The last time it dropped seven straight as the host was from November 26 - December 17 of the 1963 campaign.

New York has lost four straight overall, and suffered a 114-93 setback to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday at the Target Center. Malik Rose led the way with 20 points and Jamal Crawford had 16 points for New York. David Lee finished with 14 points and 11 boards in the loss.

In injury news for the Knickerbockers, forward Quentin Richardson (wrist) and guard Nate Robinson (knee) are both doubtful versus New Jersey.

New York is 3-0 so far against the Atlantic Division-rival Nets this season. New Jersey, however, has won 10 of 14 and 11 of the last 16 matchups in this series.

The Nets have also won eight of 10 and 11 of their last 14 trips to the Big Apple. The Knicks have not swept a season series from New Jersey since winning all three matchups in 1998-99.

03/24 10:42:12 ET

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