Larry Brown wasn’t expecting his dream job to be quite like this.
The Knicks slipped to 12 games under .500 in Brown’s first season with the team, falling 109-96 to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday to extend their season-high skid.
“I thought when we started the season with the schedule the way it was, even though we were losing games I thought we were making progress,” Brown said. “Now it seems like we’re not making any progress.”
New York trailed San Antonio by 13 after one quarter, 21 at halftime and 31 after three periods. Only when the Spurs benched their starters did the Knicks avoid suffering their worst loss of the season.
Stephon Marbury finished with 14 points, seven assists and three turnovers in the Knicks’ fifth straight loss at home. New York hasn’t dropped six consecutive games at Madison Square Garden since Nov. 29-Dec. 20, 1986.
“Everybody has to take blame in this,” said Marbury, who walked to the bench in the third quarter to a chorus of boos with the Knicks trailing by 32. “It isn’t just Coach’s fault whenever we lose. We just have to continue to play.”
The Knicks have allowed an average of 102.7 points during the seven-game skid, and have scored 92.1 points over that span.
“When you are not scoring the ball you are always on defense,” Marbury said. “It is tough when you are not scoring the ball, but at the same time our defense is not up to par at all. We are just not playing up to our abilities.”
Utah fell to 1-3 on its five-game road trip with its second straight loss Wednesday, 101-89 to Boston. The Jazz outshot the Celtics from the field, made more 3-pointers and held a 45-32 rebounding advantage, but committed 23 turnovers after having 21 in a loss to Cleveland on Tuesday.
“It was a winnable game for us,” said Jazz forward Mehmet Okur, who led with 23 points and 11 rebounds. “We didn’t execute on the offensive end and we turned the ball over.”
Forward Andrei Kirilenko missed his second straight game because of back spasms and is not expected to play in New York. Kirilenko, averaging 12.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, sat out seven games last month with a sprained right ankle, including Utah’s 73-62 loss to the Knicks on Nov. 14.
New York center Eddy Curry has missed three straight games with an ankle injury.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 22): Jazz - 4th place, 3 1/2 GB, Northwest Division. Knicks - 4th place, 7 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Jazz - Okur, 17.7 ppg and 8.6 rpg; Williams, 4.9 apg. Knicks - Marbury, 18 ppg and 6.3 apg; Frye, 6.3 rpg.
SEASON SERIES: Knicks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 14; Knicks, 73-62. At Salt Lake City, the Knicks had a season-low in points, but held the Jazz to an eight-point third quarter to pull out the win. Reserve Jamal Crawford had a game-high 20 points for New York.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Jazz - 6-7 on the road; Knicks - 3-7 at home.