Amare Stoudemire will miss tonight's game as he deals with a tragedy. According to Florida Highway Patrol, the brother of the Knicks star died in a car accident early Monday morning and Stoudemire is traveling to Florida to be with his family.
Losers in six of seven trips to the Empire State, the Jazz split a home-and- home set with the Knicks last season and have won four of the last five matchups in this series. Tonight's contest will be the lone meeting between Knicks and Jazz this season.
Utah will play two straight and five of its next six games on the road and has dropped two in a row away from Salt Lake City. It is 2-5 as the guest this season -- a major dropoff from an 11-4 record at home. The Jazz ended a two- game slide and won for the third time in five tries with Saturday's 96-87 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. Al Jefferson scored 18 points and Paul Millsap added 16, with both players grabbing 13 boards for the Jazz, who got 12 points from both Josh Howard and Derrick Favors.
Jazz reserve guard Earl Watson posted eight points and 11 assists and showed no ill effects of a sprained left ankle that kept him out of Thursday's loss at Golden State.
"Earl Watson isn't even supposed to be playing right now, that's the crazy thing about it," Millsap said. "He's out there on one leg, having an amazing game for us. He's big for us."
The Jazz hope to improve on their 4-1 record against the East tonight.
New York is only 1-7 against teams from the Western Conference and looks to build on that with a loaded home schedule over the next few games.
The Knicks are in the midst of playing 10 of 14 games at MSG and are coming off of Saturday's 99-92 triumph over New Jersey courtesy of a surprise performance from second-year guard Jeremy Lin. The Harvard product scored a career-high 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting and also collected seven assists and five rebounds. New York had dropped 11 of 13 games before edging the Nets.
"It's one game, so don't get too excited," said Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni. "But it was something we needed."
Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler scored 17 points apiece, while Carmelo Anthony had just 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting for the Knicks, who are 5-7 at home this season and pushed their overall record to 9-15. Anthony had scored 25 or more points in each of the three previous games.
Landry Fields had just six points in Saturday's win, but is averaging 12.9 points in his last 11 games.