The New York Knicks (7-5) hope to continue their excellent run of basketball and win their fifth in a row at home as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (6-7) at Madison Square Garden on Monday evening.

The Knicks are now 7-2 in their last nine games after a 0-3 start. They had no problem disposing of the Sacramento Kings on Saturday winning by the score of 118-91. After an early 11-point deficit in the first quarter, New York turned it up and led by nine once the first 12 minutes were over. They never looked back at what turned out to be a blowout victory.

The Cavaliers have now alternated a loss with a win in their last six games. On Saturday, they won on the road against the Dallas Mavericks, 111-104. A 34-22 scoring advantage over Dallas in the third quarter was what gave Cleveland a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Projected starting lineups

Cavaliers: PG - Iman Shumpert (Derrick Rose if he returns from injury), SG - J. R. Smith, SF - Jae Crowder, PF - LeBron James, C - Kevin Love

Knicks: PG - Jarrett Jack, SG - Tim Hardaway Jr., SF - Courtney Lee, PF - Kristaps Porzingis, C - Enes Kanter

Team stat leaders

Cavaliers: Scoring - LeBron James 28.5, Rebounding - Kevin Love 10.8, Assists - LeBron James 8.5

Knicks: Scoring - Kristaps Porzingis 30.4, Rebounding - Enes Kanter 10.6, Assists - Jarrett Jack 5.5

Injury report

Cavaliers: Out - Isaiah Thomas (hip), Tristan Thompson (calf), Questionable - Derrick Rose (ankle)

Knicks: none

What Knicks fans should know and watch for

As of Sunday, the Knicks rank second only to the Golden State Warriors, shooting 48.2% from the field.

They have shot at least 50% in five consecutive games entering Monday’s meeting with Cleveland.

Meanwhile, a major reason for the Cavaliers’ struggles has been their defense (or lack thereof). They rank 29th out of 30 teams allowing 47.8% shooting and are 28th in giving up 113.4 points per game. They struggle out of the gates as the 30.6 points on average they allow in first quarters is worst in the NBA.

Welcome back, Joakim Noah! While there probably aren’t too many Knicks fans shouting that out, Noah will be eligible to play for the first time all season after his 20-game suspension (served eight games last season). With the Knicks’ cupboard full at the center position to the point where last season’s All-Rookie First Team member Willy Hernangomez can’t crack the rotation, it is hard to see Noah playing a large role if any.

History of Cavaliers/Knicks

The Cavaliers and Knicks have met 203 times in the regular season with New York holding a 110-93 lead in the win column.

Recently, the wins have not been going to New York as Cleveland won 10 in a row in the head-to-head series up until October 29 of this year. The Knicks went into Cleveland on that day and easily handed the Cavaliers a defeat by the score of 114-95. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 34 and Kristaps Porzingis added 32.

The Knicks have still lost seven straight times at Madison Square Garden to the Cavaliers. The last time New York was able to beat them at home was on January 30, 2014.