Knicks welcome Cavs to MSG

The New York Knicks and Jeremy Lin try to kick off the second half of their schedule in winning fashion this evening when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks and Lin went into the break with an embarrassing loss to the Miami Heat, falling 102-88 last Thursday. Lin, especially, was overwhelmed by the Heat, going just 1-of-11 from the floor and turning the ball over eight times.

He had eight points and three assists for New York, which has lost two of its last three games.

"They did a good job of making me uncomfortable," Lin said. "I'm not going to hang my head. I know I played hard. You can't win them all."

Lin, though, was the story of the league in the first half. After being a reserve for Golden State last season, the Harvard product was cut twice in December before landing with the Knicks, who almost waived him themselves.

Instead New York gave him a chance and the team has responded, posting an 8-3 mark in the games he has started. In that span Lin has averaged 22.3 points and 8.8 assists, but has turned the ball over an alarming 67 times, as well.

"I mean, we're unbelievably talented and you look on the headlines, you look on ESPN, you see ���Lin this��� and ���Lin that,���" Lin said. "But we may be the deepest team in the NBA, so I think we should start talking about that as well."

Lin's emergence has helped ease the load from superstars Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, who suffered through an injury-plagued first half.

The Knicks, though, enter play on Wednesday tied with Boston for the seventh seed in the East and trail Atlantic Division leader Philadelphia by four games.

Cleveland, meanwhile, has playoff aspirations of its own, but comes into tonight's tilt on the heels of an 86-83 loss to the Celtics.

Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 24 points and Ramon Sessions chipped in 13 off the bench for Cleveland, which dropped its second consecutive game. Tristan Thompson added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.

The Cavs, who are 2 1/2 games behind the Knicks and Celtics, have had success against the Knicks, winning 12 of the last 13 meetings, including a 91-81 win back on January 25.