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News » Jazz try to turn things around on the road

Jazz try to turn things around on the road

Jazz try to turn things around on the road If the Jazz want to turn their disappointing early season in the right direction, they'll have to do it on the road.

Utah opens a four-game swing through the Eastern Conference tonight at New York. Other stops include Philadelphia, Boston and Cleveland.

For this team, playing on the road has been as much fun as a bad blind date.

Utah has lost its only two road games this season -- 114-105 at Denver and 96-85 at Dallas.

Going back to last season and including the playoffs, the Jazz have lost 11 of their last 12 road games, including eight in a row.

The Big Apple?

It's been a rotten for Utah.

The Jazz have lost five straight in New York, including two by one point. Their last win at Madison Square Garden came in 2004, when Andrei Kirilenko scored 23 points in a 92-78 victory.

The Jazz are off to their worst start in seven years. They own a 2-4 record, including a 104-99 loss to shorthanded Sacramento on Saturday night.

"We have to pick ourselves up," Carlos Boozer said. "We have four games on this road trip and we've got to try and win all four."

Asked if this is a critical trip for his team, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said, "We like to win wherever we are. They're all important. ... We'll see what happens -- see how we fight back."

Deron Williams says worrying about past defeats serves no purpose.

"We'd like to go [on the road] with a two-game winning streak," he said after losing to the Kings. "But we're not doing that, so we've just got to bounce back and try to get a win in New York."

Besides getting the trip off to a good start, the Jazz should have extra motivation to beat the Knicks.

Utah owns their first-round pick in next summer's draft so the more the Knicks lose, the better chance the Jazz have of getting a top pick.

For a franchise that has picked better than 13th only once since 1983, that should be an incentive.

New York originally sent the unprotected pick to Phoenix.

The Jazz obtained it just before the trade deadline in 2005, when they sent Ben Handlogten and Keon Clark to the Suns for Tom Gugliotta.

It could turn into a once-in-a-million trade for the Jazz , whose visit to Madison Square Garden won't create as much excitement as the previous visitor.

On Thursday, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat New York, 100-91, in a circus-like atmosphere.

James can become a free agent next summer and the Knicks, rather obviously, have structured their rebuilding plan around luring him to New York.

To that end, several members of the New York Yankees -- James' favorite baseball team -- attended the game and sat courtside.

The group included Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia, a friend of James' who previously pitched in Cleveland.

According to The New York Post , posters of James in a Knicks' uniform could be seen throughout the Garden.

After the game, James made it a point to stop and talk to second-year forward Danilo Gallinari, who also figures prominently in the reconstruction of the Knicks.

Team president Donnie Walsh tried to sound upset.

"Honestly, all the hubbub and frenzy is starting to bother me," Walsh told The Post . "There's an innuendo we don't care about the players on this team and this isn't the case. This isn't a throwaway season and I don't like it."

The Jazz hope Walsh is just posturing and the Knicks, in fact, are more worried about signing James than winning games this season. If so, Utah could end up with a valuable draft pick. Jazz vs. Knicks

Today, 5:30 p.m.


Radio ? 1320-AM, 98.7-FM

Records ? Jazz 2-4, Knicks 1-6

Last Meeting ? Jazz , 112-104 (March 30)

Line: Jazz by 3 1/2

About the Jazz ? They're off to their worst start in seven years. ... They are 0-2 on the road with losses at Denver (114-105) and Dallas (95-85). ... G Deron Williams averages 24.2 points and 9.8 assists in 40.1 minutes. ... They are shooting 33.3 percent from the three-point line. G Ronnie Price (2-for-9) and F Andrei Kirilenko (2-for-7) are a combined 4-for-16. ... G Wesley Mathews has scored 23 points in the last two games.

About the Knicks ? They have lost three straight by an average 12 points. ... They are 1-3 at home, with the only win coming against New Orleans (117-111). ... Their top scorers are F Al Harrington (19.7) and F David Lee (19.3). ... They are shooting 42.2 percent as a team. ... They haven't held an opponent under 100 points yet. ... Opponents shoot 50.3 percent from the field. ... They are coming off a 120-87 loss at Milwaukee.

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Added: November 9, 2009


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