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Knicks' aim is way off in blowout loss to Jazz

New York came out firing Wednesday. Problem was, the Knicks were shooting blanks.

"I think our first seven shots (all misses) were jump shots," guard John Starks said after his team's 94-78 loss to the Jazz in the Delta Center."You can't do that against your opponents, especially Utah because they do a good job of capitalizing on it."

While the Knicks were missing the mark, the Jazz opened the game with a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. New York eventually found itself trailing by 34 points.

"I wasn't blown away by it," Starks said. "We knew the reason why they were up that much was because of our inadequacies to get to the basket. When things aren't going for you outside, you have to be more aggressive."

The Knicks wound up making just 3 of 15 attempts from 3-point range and finished the game with 41 percent accuracy from the field. And it took 70 percent shooting in the fourth period, when the game was well out of reach, just to get it to that level.

You have to drive the ball to get open shots and we didn't do that," Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We mishandled the ball so there was high turnovers . We know our formula for success right now and we didn't play the way we need to play to be competitive."

Van Gundy was especially concerned with the seven contested jumpers the Knicks took to open the game. He called a timeout to right the wrong, but things didn't change all that much.

"If we play like that against Portland," Van Gundy said of New York's next opponent, "we'll get blown out again."

The message was received, loud and clear.

"We have to put it behind us," Starks said. "This is a game we never did get started."

The Knicks trailed 56-30 at halftime and never recovered.

"It would have taken a miracle for us to win that game," Chris Childs said from a crowded New York locker room. The Knicks dressed 11 players but have three others who are injured traveling with the team. The wounded include center Patrick Ewing (dislocated wrist), Ronnie Grandison (tendinitis in left knee) and Buck Williams (sore left knee).

"We know how we have to play to be competitive," Van Gundy said.

And as evidenced Wednesday, there isn't much margin for error.