Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Preview
New York at Cleveland
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

The New York Knicks are struggling through a four-game losing streak and they'll need to figure things out on the road when they begin a three-game trip at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. Opponents are averaging 117.3 points against the Knicks during their slide, and the Charlotte Hornets were a tad over that mark in a 119-107 win at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points while his fellow starters combined for just 15 as New York's bench -- led by a rejuvenated Frank Ntilikina and rookie Kevin Knox -- carried the load in the setback. "I think that's from the work I put on every day. That's the mindset," Ntilikina -- who was recently benched for three straight games amid a long slump -- told reporters after scoring 18 points in 20 minutes. "I want to be more aggressive to get to the hoop, to get to my spot. It's an improvement. But I can say also I've got to make it consistent and even better. It's just the beginning. I want it to go more, further." The Cavaliers are in the midst of a stretch in which they play six of seven at home and they dropped the one road game in that span Monday at Milwaukee. Larry Nance Jr. scored a season-high 16 points in the loss, his fourth straight double-digit effort after reaching the 10-point mark just four times in his first 21 games.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FS Ohio (Cleveland)

ABOUT THE KNICKS (8-20): While Ntilikina, who made all four of his 3-point attempts Sunday, digs himself out of a hole, Knox is showing flashes of dominance and finished with 26 points for the second time in the past five games to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds. "Yeah, he's getting better," coach David Fizdale told reporters. "And we're watching his growth right before our eyes. Where he started struggling, early, you're starting to see some more games where he's putting together some solid performances." Hardaway shot 7-for-13 in the loss and has scored at least 20 points in four of his last contests.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (6-21): Center Tristan Thompson scored 12 points in 18 minutes on 6-of-7 shooting against the Bucks before departing with a sprained left foot, and he will be sidelined from two to four weeks. "They didn't chop my foot off. I'll be fine," Thompson, who is averaging career highs of 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, told reporters. Rookie Jaron Blossomgame, playing his fourth career game after signing a two-way contract earlier this month, produced 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench against Milwaukee.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Hardaway averaged 31 points, seven rebounds and 6.5 assists in two games against Cleveland last season.

2. Knicks SG Allonzo Trier (hamstring) missed Sunday's game and has been ruled out for the entirety of the road trip.

3. Cavaliers SG Rodney Hood was 1-for-7 from the floor in Monday's loss and is 10-for-34 over a four-game span.

PREDICTION: Knicks 111, Cavaliers 109
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
New York 8-20 L4 4-9 4-11 2-1 6-19 2-6 5-16
Cleveland 6-21 L1 4-10 2-11 0-0 6-21 0-5 5-13
Last Meeting
New York Cleveland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/11/18 NY 110 CLE 98 110 39 50.6 98 48 39.4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New York L. Kornet 23 64.3 1
Cleveland J. Holland 21 31.6 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New York D. Dotson 10 0 10
Cleveland T. Thompson 9 5 4
Assists Player  
New York T. Burke 9
Cleveland C. Osman 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New York T. Hardaway Jr. 657 39.7 143
Cleveland J. Clarkson 464 44.6 51
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New York E. Kanter 363 135 228
Cleveland T. Thompson 336 142 194
Assists Player  
New York T. Hardaway Jr. 90
Cleveland C. Sexton 81
Quickchart Matchup
New York New York Off vs  Cleveland Cleveland Defense
New York Off vs Cleveland - Points For 108.4 Points For
New York Off vs Cleveland - Points Against 111.4 Points Against
New York - FG% 43.8 FG%
Cleveland - FG% 48.7 FG%
New York - Reb 45.6 Reb
Cleveland - Reb 42.3 Reb
Cleveland Cleveland Off vs  New York New York Defense
Cleveland Off vs New York - Points For 103.0 Points For
Cleveland Off vs New York - Points Against 115.0 Points Against
Cleveland - FG% 44.5 FG%
New York - FG% 47.7 FG%
Cleveland - Reb 43.8 Reb
New York - Reb 46.0 Reb