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The championship title has proven elusive for James Harden so far in his career
  1. NBA

NBA: Cavs star Garland feels targeted

Darius Garland says Cleveland Cavaliers have a "target on our back" after their strong first half of the season ahead of the visit of New York Knicks on Monday.

The Cavs are 10/11 to win with a -7 handicap in the Point Spread and the Knicks are 12/5 in the Money Line.

Cavs mounting play-off challenge

Cleveland sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 28-19 overall record and they appear on course to reach the play-offs for the first time since losing the 2018 Finals series 4-0 to Golden State Warriors.

The Cavs have won six of their last seven games, losing once at the Chicago Bulls during that run, and point guard Garland feels they have now become a team their opponents see as a notable scalp.

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"We've got a target on our back now," said Garland, via Sportsnaut. "Everybody wants to beat us, so we have to play the full 48 minutes.

"Coach (J.B. Bickerstaff) let us know that after the game (Saturday's 94-87 win over Oklahoma City Thunder), because we let up a little bit."

Injuries an issue for Cavs

The Cavs will be without injured duo Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio for the visit of the Knicks, while Lauri Markkanen is a doubt due to an ankle issue that limited him to just 13 minutes in the win over OKC last time out and veteran Rajon Rondo is also rated as questionable after missing the last six games.

The visitors are missing Derrick Rose as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury and fellow guard Kemba Walker is a doubt having played in just two of the Knicks' last 12 games due to a knee problem.

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