The Knicks’ blueprint this season is to tantalize their faithful by storming back from a large first-half deficit, only to fall short. Last night wasn’t any different, as they got within single digits midway through the fourth quarter. About the only bright spot for New York [1-7] was rookie point guard Toney Douglas, who registered a career-high 21 points. Douglas' forays to the tin were mostly uncontested and he was easily the best Knick on the floor. He was mainly responsible for a late 10-0 Knick run to cut it to one possession. Wilson Chandler also added 17 points but Utah [3-4] had too much firepower -- led by Andrei Kirilenko’s 23 points.

What we saw last night
1. So close. All season Knick players felt slighted because all the focus was on 2010. Well, they finally fought back and almost pulled off a great comeback. For the sixth time in eight games New York fell down by as many as 20 points, including its third-straight game. The Knicks didn’t even get a second scorer into double figures until late in the third quarter. New York got as close as one, teasing the fans into thinking they had a shot. But as is their custom this season, their fourth-quarter run happened when the deficit was too great and the opponent apparently went on cruise control.

2. Another slow start. The last two opening quarters were abysmal for New York, as they were outscored 80-43, so it was imperative they get off to a fast start. Naturally, they got down by as many as 12 to start the game and shot a pathetic 39 percent from the field – including 0-of-5 from three. Al Harrington was the main culprit, as he instantly came off the bench midway through the quarter and didn’t see a shot he didn’t like. The supposed super sub started the game, 1-of-4.

3. Die by the three, die by the three. Utah was allegedly last in the league defending the three but leave it to the Knicks to cure that ailment. The hapless shooting continued, as they started off shooting 0-of-12 from three. And in a cruel twist of irony, Duhon nailed a deep three at the halftime buzzer. Alas, it came after the horn. They finished shooting 8-of-29 from 3.

“We just have to be ourselves. We’re putting too much pressure on ourselves on everything we do out there because a couple guys are struggling,” said Chris Duhon, trying to explain their 1-7 start.

Up Next: Home, Wednesday, Hawks
Injuries: Eddy Curry [calf]; Nate Robinson [ankle]
Stats: 110-100. That’s the margin of deficit, per-game, that the Knicks have dug themselves into.
Outlook: Former Knick fan-favorite Jamal Crawford returns but the Knicks have bigger things to worry about, as the Hawks are one of the deepest teams in the League.

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