NEW YORK — Before his Jazz lost to the Knicks on Sunday, Jerry Sloan was asked if he could pinpoint a cause for Utah's recent run of lousy results in New York.

"Maybe getting in here too early," the Jazz coach said.

"I had that problem when I coached in Chicago," Sloan added.

"I brought them in here the day of the game for a playoff game, and that's the only time we won."

After falling again Sunday, the Jazz have now dropped five straight games in New York.

Afterward, someone else asked Sloan the very same question — to what do you attribute that fact?

"New York," he answered.

"Maybe they saw too much of it," Sloan added. "I don't have any idea. But I was disappointed that our energy level was not higher than what it was coming in this game."

Jazz forward Carlos Boozer, however, wasn't buying Sloan's blame-the-Big-Apple theory.

His alternate theory?

"Probably playing their style of basketball instead of playing ours," Boozer said. "That's what I would put it on. You know, we've got to continue to play Jazz basketball no matter who we play. It seems like every time we come here we start playing a little bit different."

THEY'RE DROWNING: Getting beat 44-41 on the boards Sunday, thanks in large part to Zach Randolph's team-high 14 rebounds for the Knicks, did not sit well with Sloan.

"We were dead. We were dead in the water," the Jazz coach said. "I mean, our guys didn't even jump for the basketball a couple times.

"He (Randolph) just outhustled," Sloan added. "He got two or three rebounds in there just by going after it a little harder, just by pushing our guys out of the way. That's the way you're supposed to do it."

A playful assessment of Randolph from Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni probably will do nothing to lower the level of Sloan's ire, should he ever hear it.

"It's unbelievable," D'Antoni said. "The guy can't jump at all."

INJURY UPDATE: Jazz point guard Deron Williams (ankle sprain), big man Jarron Collins (elbow bursitis) and forward Matt Harpring (ankle rehab) all missed their sixth straight games.

Williams said his ankle swelled considerably on the Jazz's flight from Utah to New York on Saturday, so he did little before Sunday's game.

He'll practice today in Philadelphia, then decide afterward if he can make his season debut against the 76ers.

"I'll see how it feels," Williams said.

That's fine by Sloan.

"We've got too much at stake to try to push a guy out too soon," the Jazz coach said when asked about Williams before the game.

Collins said he wasn't sure if he'd practice today or not. And Harpring, meanwhile, is making progress following offseason surgery followed by an infection in the ankle.

"I feel like it's getting stronger," Harpring said. "Some of the stuff I am doing on the court, I can feel it getting better. My jumping's getting a little bit better. The explosive parts are starting to come. It's not there yet, but it's starting to come."


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com