Cavaliers on a strong run while the Knicks struggle with injuries

The Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks played a home set on consecutive nights in the first week of the season — a convenient schedule for teams linked together after a first-round playoff series last spring,

Five months later, the teams remain bound by their equally weakened status, even as the Knicks stand to lose any association with the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Cavaliers will look to continue their post-New Year’s surge Sunday night when they host the reeling Knicks in the final regular season game between the rivals.

The Cavaliers return to Ohio for two crucial games after winning without All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert on Friday night, when Cleveland had never trailed in a 110-100 win over the Detroit Pistons.

The Knicks have been on hiatus since Thursday, when they fell behind 110-99 to the visiting Golden State Warriors.

With Mitchell (left knee soreness) and LeVert (right elbow sprain) sidelined, Darius Garland scored 29 points on 8-of-12 shooting from 3-point range, and Evan Mobley stepped up Friday with 22 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists. The Cavaliers improved to 21-6 since Jan. 1 and remain virtually tied for second place in the Eastern Conference with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Both teams are eight games behind the Boston Celtics, who visit Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Being without multiple starters is nothing new for the Knicks, who appeared poised to build on last spring’s five-game first-round win over the Cavaliers when they went 14-2 in January.

But New York was just 4-8 in February, when starters OG Anunoby (right elbow), Julius Randle (right shoulder) and Mitchell Robinson (ankle surgery) were all sidelined. Fellow starters Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein also missed multiple games.