The Cleveland Cavaliers have only won 11 games this season. Two of those victories have come against the team they face tonight - the New York Knicks. In all, the Cavs have beaten the Knicks 10 straight times. Most recently, the Cavs beat the Knicks 115-109 last week in the road debut of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups in a Knicks uniform.
Baron Davis, who was acquired from the Clippers along with an unprotected first-round pick last week for Mo Williams, is expected to make his Cleveland debut tonight. Davis has missed the Cavaliers' three games since the trade with a knee injury.
New York rebounded to win two of three since losing in Cleveland, including Wednesday's 107-88 rout of New Orleans in MSG. Amare Stoudemire and Toney Douglas scored 24 points apiece in that one while Anthony added 22 points as the Knicks improved to 3-2 since acquiring him in a blockbuster trade with Denver.
Douglas started at point guard in place of Billups, who missed the game with a bruised left thigh. Billups, a trade piece in the Anthony deal, suffered the injury in Tuesday's loss to Orlando when he ran into Dwight Howard and is day-to-day but not expected to play tonight.
Anthony Carter, another former Nugget who came over in the deal, also filled in for Billups at guard and scored four points with seven rebounds.
"Both of them did really well. Toney has been struggling the last three games, but he must be a [Madison Square Garden] type of guy because every time he plays here he plays well," said Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni. "He kind of sets the tone for us. His first points got us off and obviously we got shots tonight. That's the thing that's been missing over the weekend. Good for him and Anthony (Carter) came in with good defense."
The Cavs, meanwhile, have lost two straight since topping New York, the latest of which was a 109-99 setback to San Antonio on Wednesday. Samardo Samuels, playing in place on the injured Antawn Jamison, paced Cleveland with a game-high 23 points and 10 boards in that one.
Alonzo Gee added 18 points and seven boards, while Ramon Sessions supplied 14 points and seven assists in the Cavaliers' third loss in four games overall.
Jamison, who is averaging 18.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists, underwent surgery after breaking his left pinkie finger against Philadelphia and could be sidelined for the rest of the season. The veteran forward is expected to be out 5-7 weeks and Cleveland's season ends April 13.
The Knicks are looking to beat the Cavs for the first time since a 108-90 win at MSG on Dec. 19, 2007.