Despite being on this slide, including losses in seven of eight games, the Jazz remain in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference playoff picture. Utah is now tied with the Lakers at 32-31 — having blown a five-game lead it held on Feb. 21. But the Jazz won the season series and have that tiebreaker advantage, but L.A. hosts Chicago today and could overtake the Jazz with a win.
There are consequences to bad bounces and flat showings.
"A bad road rip for us," Hayward said. "We couldn't really afford to do this. We just made it that much tougher on ourselves."
As for the Knicks, they improved to 38-22 despite playing without Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, who missed the excitement with knee injuries.
J.R. Smith had MSG patrons eating out of the palm of his hands, with an array of long balls (4 of 8) a crowd-approved, double-clutch dunk in the fourth and a game-high 24 points.
Steve Novak played like Larry Bird reincarnate with 20 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
Even Raymond Felton looked like All-Star material with 15 points.
The Jazz, meanwhile, shot 38.5 percent and were led by Alec Burks' 14 points off the bench. Hayward had 13 points and Kanter added 11, including his first-ever 3-pointer.
It wasn't nearly enough.
"I think we just probably ran out of a little gas," Favors said. "We played three close games — not to make no excuses — but they just came out and played with a lot more energy."
Corbin let his team know (again) that they'll get clobbered if the players try to feel sorry for themselves — or don't play hard. He admitted being disappointed that the Jazz didn't show the fight they usually show.
And he didn't want to hear about this being the fourth game in four cities in six nights or it being the second night of a back-to-back — or any other excuses.
"That's the NBA. You've got to find a way to fight through those things. This team has been resilient all year. We're disappointed in the trip," the Jazz coach said. "We're disappointed in the loss tonight, but it's not over for us. We'll be back. We'll lick our wounds tonight and tomorrow and be ready to go Monday."
Mercifully, that one against Detroit is at home.
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