Utah (26-29) at New York (26-29)

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  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Fri Feb 20, 2004
  • TV: FSRM, MSG
Preview | Box Score | Recap

They weren’t the blockbuster-type trades the New York Knicks have been making this season, but the Utah Jazz were the ones dealing at the deadline.

After acquiring veteran forward Tom Gugliotta and shooting guard Gordan Giricek, the struggling Jazz will look to end a three-game skid when they visit the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Utah picked up Gugliotta in a trade with the Phoenix Suns on Thursday for forwards Keon Clark and Ben Bendlogten. The Jazz also dealt DeShawn Stevenson to the Orlando Magic for Giricek in an exchange of shooting guards.

Gugliotta is averaging just 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 30 games this season. He sat out 44 games in 2002-03 because of a stress fracture in his right foot. This season, his playing time diminished, then disappeared altogether as the Suns were dismantled in salary-cutting moves.

“The last couple of years, obviously he hasn’t played as much as he wanted to,” said Kevin O’Connor, Jazz vice president for basketball operations. “But we’re going to give him an opportunity.”

Giricek, in just his second NBA season after playing professionally in Europe, averaged 10.2 points in 48 games with Orlando.

Stevenson averaged 11.4 points in 54 games for the Jazz, finally showing a glimmer of the promise that prompted Utah to draft him out of high school in 2000.

The Jazz shot 37.6 percent in a 90-77 loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, and have lost six of eight games this month.

The revamped Knicks, who were rumored to be in the running for a frontcourt player, were not able to pull off a trade Thursday. New York did pick up Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed for Keith Van Horn on Sunday, but neither factored prominently in Tuesday’s impressive 92-88 win over Detroit.

Stephon Marbury, the Knicks’ biggest acquisition since Isiah Thomas took over as general manager in December, finished with 28 points, nine assists and five steals, hitting a clutch 3-pointer with 40 seconds left as New York ended a two-game losing streak.

Tim Thomas played just nine minutes and sat out the entire second half. He had two points, four rebounds and two turnovers. Mohammed did not play.

“Not knowing the plays and not knowing the system limited my time, but it felt good to be out there with the guys—and on top of it we started something fresh and new,” Tim Thomas said.

New York was again without shooting guard Allan Houston, whose sore knee kept him on the injured list after he was expected to return after the All-Star break. Houston has missed 14 games this season, and it is unknown when he might return.

This the second of a three-game homestand for the Knicks, who will host rookie LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

STANDINGS (through Feb. 18): Jazz - 7th place, 13 GB, Midwest Division. Knicks - 2nd place, 7 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Jazz - F Andrei Kirilenko, F Michael Ruffin, C Greg Ostertag, G Giricek, G Carlos Arroyo. Knicks - F Penny Hardaway, F Kurt Thomas, C Dikembe Mutombo, G Shandon Anderson, G Marbury.

TEAM LEADERS: Jazz - Kirilenko, 16.5 ppg; Ostertag, 8.1 rpg; Arroyo, 5.1 apg. Knicks - Marbury, 20.8 ppg and 8.8 apg; Kurt Thomas, 8.8 rpg.

SEASON SERIES: Jazz, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 10; Jazz, 95-73. At Salt Lake City, Anderson scored 15 points to lead the Knicks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Jazz - 7-19 on the road; Knicks - 16-13 at home.

INJURIES: Jazz - C Curtis Borchardt (wrist). Knicks - G Houston (knee); C Cezary Trybanski (knee).

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