NEW YORK — The celebrity sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden was fitting for Monday night.
And we're not talking about Spike Lee or Kevin Bacon.
In front of Smoking Joe Frazier, the Utah Glass Jawzz crumpled when the New York Knicks came out swinging during their unanimous 131-109 decision.
The Jazz's four-game road trip started with a TKO loss — not to mention some bruised egos and a whole lot of injuries.
"That's embarrassing the way we came out and played tonight," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said.
While a knockout is an apropos analogy for one of the worst losses of the season for 33-31 Utah — which now sits 2½ games out of the playoff picture — the words fight and Jazz shouldn't be used in the same sentence when it comes to this outing.
"We didn't really put up much of a fight," Jazz point guard Devin Harris said.
And the players' new boss let his team hear all about it in the locker room..
Witnessing a blowout in which his players allowed 40 first-quarter points and passively watched the Knicks' high-flying offense as if they were observing a Broadway show did not sit well with Corbin.
Not at all.
Corbin even took about 10 extra minutes to come out and address the media after giving his team a piece of his upset mind.
"You come out and you play like we did tonight without any enthusiasm, any kind of effort, we need to have a longer talk to find out where we are, who we are," Corbin said. "That's not who we want to display (we are) as individuals, as a group of guys and as a franchise."
Despite coming into this one having built a bit of momentum from a rare win against Sacramento on Saturday, the Jazz fell to the mat quickly. They trailed 40-24 after the first quarter, and that deficit grew as big as 31 points as the unimpeded Knicks shot 56.1 percent overall and 13-for-26 from 3-point range.
Guard Toney Douglas torched the Jazz early, with 17 first-half points en route to a 20-point night. The unknown entity then shared the scoring duties with the Knicks' superstars, and Carmelo Anthony (34 points) and Amar'e Stoudemire (31 points) responded with a Frazier-like fierceness.
"They're two of the most potent scorers in the league," Corbin said, "and if you don't put pressure on them and you don't get hands on them and you let them go where they want to go and get the ball where they want to get it, they're going to try and kill you."
Though shorthanded, the Jazz wanted nothing to do with using their injury situation as an excuse for the lackluster loss.
Still, Utah began the game with only 10 players in uniform because of injuries to Francisco Elson (left ankle and knee), Ronnie Price (toe), Kyrylo Fesenko (back) and Mehmet Okur (back).
Making matters worse, starting forwards Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Paul Millsap (knee) both gave it a go after being game-time decisions but had their nights cut short due to their nagging injuries.
"Maybe," Millsap admitted while talking about his left patellar tendinitis, "I should have sat out a little bit, sat this one out."
Some might argue most of the Jazz team did just that anyway.
Center Al Jefferson continued his torrid ways, scoring 36 points with 12 rebounds. But the rest of the starters — keeping two short nights in mind — shot a combined 6-for-22.
- Ranking the best NBA players to ever come out...
- BYU basketball: Cougars outlast San Francisco...
- Former Lone Peak center Justin Hamilton makes...
- BYU basketball: Confident San Francisco...
- Photo story: What teenagers taught me at the...
- 15 lessons learned from a BYU rugby game
- BYU basketball: Tyler Haws passes Russell...
- Photos: Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace speaks to...
- Utah basketball: Runnin' Utes come up... 74
- BYU basketball: Cougars outlast San... 73
- High school boys basketball: 5A/4A/1A... 57
- BYU basketball: Despite dearth of... 34
- Utah basketball: Runnin' Utes eager to... 30
- BYU basketball: Bottom seed LMU knocks... 26
- Krystkowiak asks Runnin' Utes to stay... 24
- Utah basketball: Regular-season finale... 24