Larry Brown hopes his second win as New York Knicks coach is easier to come by than the first.
Brown and the Knicks look to make it two straight as they continue their six-game road trip against the shorthanded Utah Jazz at the Delta Center.
Stephon Marbury had 17 points and seven assists for the Knicks, who jumped to a big early lead and hung on late to halt their worst start in 18 years during Brown’s first season in charge of his hometown team.
Historically, Brown hasn’t put great trust in young players, but his youthful Knicks might win him over eventually—particularly if they keep playing this way. Frye had 13 of his 19 points in the first half, and Jamal Crawford and Eddy Curry added 16 apiece as New York never trailed in snapping an eight-game losing streak in Sacramento.
Brown ascribed no special significance to the win, but his players knew it meant something.
“It feels good. I always feel good after a team tries hard,” said Brown, the only head coach to win championships in the NBA and NCAA.
“We had a lot of guys contribute. To win one on the road against a pretty good team is a good feeling. … People don’t win in this building much, so it feels good.”
The Knicks have the good fortune to play the Jazz at a time when they are without star forward Andrei Kirilenko.
Kirilenko injured his left ankle in Utah’s 103-98 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
“We’ll do some treatments. I think I’ll be all right in about a week,” said Kirilenko, averaging 13.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in six games this season.
Mehmet Okur helped fill the void left by Kirilenko, scoring a career-high 33 points and grabbing 17 rebounds against Chicago.
Kirilenko missed 41 games last season—26 after spraining his right knee on Nov. 30, and then 14 more due to a wrist injury. Veteran Matt Harpring, averaging 9.5 points and 5.0 rebounds this season, will make his first start of the season in his place of Kirilenko.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 13): Knicks - 4th place, 2 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Jazz - 1st place, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Knicks - Marbury, 18 ppg and 5.2 apg; Curry, 7.3 rpg. Jazz - Okur, 22.6 ppg and 10 rpg; Kirilenko, 4 apg.
2004-2005 SEASON SERIES: Knicks, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 7; Knicks, 102-99, (OT). At Salt Lake City, Marbury scored 30 points, including New York’s last six in overtime, to help the Knicks snap a nine-game road losing streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Knicks - 1-3 on the road; Jazz - 1-1 at home.