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'Melo, Knicks hope to stay on track vs. Cavs

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Jekyll and Hyde New York Knicks hope to remain on the winning side of things when they continue their lengthy homestand Thursday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks won five in a row earlier this month, then proceeded to lose the next five games, including the first three portions of this extended homestand. They have bounced back with three wins a row and handed the rival Boston Celtics a 114-88 setback Tuesday behind Carmelo Anthony's 24 points.

Anthony has scored a total of 121 points over his last three games, averaging 40.3 points per game in that time. His 62-point outburst versus Charlotte last Friday kicked off New York's current winning streak.

"We're figuring it out. It's not going to happen for us overnight. Defensively, we're stepping up to the challenge," said Anthony, who is second in the NBA with 27.1 ppg and needs 15 points for 19,000 in his career.

J.R. Smith and Jeremy Tyler scored 17 points apiece off the bench, while Tim Hardaway, Jr. added 16 and Tyson Chandler posted 12 points with 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who made 53.7 percent from the field and 10-of-20 3-pointers.

Tyler's 17 points were a career-high.

"He's been playing well. He's given us some positive energy defensively; offensively he's making plays." Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said of Tyler. "Some of the hard work that he's put in with the coaches and myself is starting to pay off."

Knicks swingman Iman Shumpert suffered a right shoulder sprain and did not return. He is questionable Thursday and averaging 7.1 ppg this season.

The Knicks are 10-15 at MSG and have a big matchup with Miami coming up on Saturday night. They are 4-1 against Miami in the regular season over the past two years.

But New York must not look past the Cavaliers.

Cleveland will begin a three-game road trip Thursday against New York, Houston and Dallas, and went 1-4 on a recent homestand.

In Tuesday's 100-89 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters scored 23 and 21 points, respectively, while No. 1 draft pick Anthony Bennett added 15 off the bench.

"He had a heck of a practice yesterday for us. He's been doing the things we ask of him to do in practice," Cavs head coach Mike Brown said of Bennett. "We played him and he took advantage of the opportunity. Just one of those things when you've got to stay ready when your number is called and he showed that he stayed ready tonight."

Tyler Zeller finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavs, who couldn't contain Pelicans young forward Anthony Davis. Davis had 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting, eight blocks and seven rebounds.

Cavs center Anderson Varejao was inactive because of a knee injury and he is questionable against the Knicks. Varejao has 3,990 career points and 3,999 career rebounds. He will soon join Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Brad Daugherty and John Williams as the only players in Cavs history with at least 4,000 points and 4,000 rebounds.

Irving is averaging 21.9 points per game in his last seven for Cleveland, which is only 5-17 on the road and winless in four straight trips to Madison Square Garden. Cleveland defeated New York at home back on Dec. 10, but the Knicks have won six of the previous nine meetings in this series.

01/30 10:41:47 ET

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Standings

2013 - 2014 Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Toronto 48 34 .585 --- 26-15 22-19 32-20 L 1
x-Brooklyn 44 38 .537 4 28-13 16-25 26-26 L 2
New York 37 45 .451 11 19-22 18-23 26-26 W 4
Boston 25 57 .305 23 16-25 9-32 21-31 L 2
Philadelphia 19 63 .232 29 10-31 9-32 14-38 W 2
 
Central W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Indiana 56 26 .683 --- 35-6 21-20 38-14 W 2
x-Chicago 48 34 .585 8 27-14 21-20 35-17 L 1
Cleveland 33 49 .402 23 19-22 14-27 21-31 W 1
Detroit 29 53 .354 27 17-24 12-29 23-29 L 4
Milwaukee 15 67 .183 41 10-31 5-36 12-40 L 3
 
Southeast W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Miami 54 28 .659 --- 32-9 22-19 34-18 L 3
x-Washington 44 38 .537 10 22-19 22-19 33-19 W 4
x-Charlotte 43 39 .524 11 25-16 18-23 30-22 W 3
x-Atlanta 38 44 .463 16 24-17 14-27 28-24 W 1
Orlando 23 59 .280 31 19-22 4-37 17-35 L 4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
2013 - 2014 Western Conference Standings
 
Northwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Oklahoma City 59 23 .720 --- 34-7 25-16 36-16 W 1
x-Portland 54 28 .659 5 31-10 23-18 31-21 W 5
Minnesota 40 42 .488 19 24-17 16-25 23-29 L 3
Denver 36 46 .439 23 22-19 14-27 20-32 L 2
Utah 25 57 .305 34 16-25 9-32 13-39 W 1
 
Pacific W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-LA Clippers 57 25 .695 --- 34-7 23-18 36-16 L 1
x-Golden State 51 31 .622 6 27-14 24-17 31-21 W 2
Phoenix 48 34 .585 9 26-15 22-19 28-24 W 1
Sacramento 28 54 .341 29 17-24 11-30 15-37 L 1
LA Lakers 27 55 .329 30 14-27 13-28 15-37 W 2
 
Southwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-San Antonio 62 20 .756 --- 32-9 30-11 38-14 L 2
x-Houston 54 28 .659 8 33-8 21-20 31-21 L 1
x-Memphis 50 32 .610 12 27-14 23-18 29-23 W 5
x-Dallas 49 33 .598 13 26-15 23-18 29-23 L 1
New Orleans 34 48 .415 28 22-19 12-29 15-37 W 2
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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Scoreboard
Local
17th
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
9th
PIT 3
MIL 5
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 1
 
9th
CLE 2
TOR 3
 
7th
DET 3
ANA 11
 
9th
NYM 0
ATL 5
 
7th
BOS 4
BAL 7
 
7th
TAM 3
NYY 5
 
8th
MIA 4
SEA 4
 
6th
TEX 10
CWS 0
 
6th
KAN 3
MIN 0
 
4th
COL 7
PHI 0
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
HOU
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
Final
TAM 1
MON 4
3rd
BOS 0
DET 1
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
17th
NOR 0
DUR 3