CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers can take a big
step towards clinching their first playoff spot in the LeBron
James era when they host the New York Knicks on Thursday.
The Cavaliers enter Thursday with a one-game lead over the
Philadelphia 76ers (39-38) for the seventh spot in the Eastern
Conference playoff race. The New Jersey Nets (38-40)
reside in ninth, 2 1/2 games behind the Cavaliers.
Cleveland, which has not made the postseason since 1998, has put
together back-to-back wins for the first time this month.
James is carrying the Cavaliers down the stretch, averaging 32.3
points and 44.0 minutes. He has played all 48 minutes three
times in April, including Monday's 114-106 win over the Orlando
Magic. James collected 33 points, seven rebounds, six assists
and five steals as Cleveland matched its highest scoring output
After Thursday's contest, the Cavaliers have three of their
remaining four games on the road and just one against a losing
The Knicks wrap up their fourth straight losing season. They
have dropped 10 of 11 after a 105-93 loss to the Toronto Raptors
Stephon Marbury scored 22 points and added nine assists but New
York allowed 67 second-half points in losing its fourth in a row
Cleveland has won seven in a row at home against New York,
including a 104-79 rout on January 8. James led five players in
double figures with 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting.