Knicks-Jazz Preview

The New York Knicks are within a game of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Completing this five-game Western Conference road trip above .500 may be enough to gain a share of it.

A night after beating a team that seems headed for the postseason, the Knicks will try to avoid a letdown as they go for their longest winning streak over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.

Winning 10 of 13 has put New York (31-43) one game behind spiraling Atlanta for the East’s eighth and final postseason position. The Knicks have eight contests left in the regular season, two fewer than the Hawks, who will try to snap a six-game slide Monday against visiting Philadelphia.

New York improved to 2-2 on the trip with an 89-84 victory over Golden State on Sunday, holding the Warriors to 35.4 percent from the field.

"We can’t worry about Cleveland, Atlanta, Charlotte – none of them guys. We control our own thing," star forward Carmelo Anthony said. "If we play like (Sunday) and just play hard and really lock in and focus on what we have to focus on, I think we’ll be all right."

Anthony was limited to 19 points on 7-of-21 shooting against the Warriors, well below his 28.0 average which ranks second in the NBA. He failed to reach 20 points for the first time in 24 games.

J.R. Smith picked up the slack by scoring 21 on 8 of 17 from the field. The guard is averaging 21.7 over the past three games after scoring 10.8 over the previous four.

He had 17 points, while Anthony led the way with 29 and eight assists in a 108-81 win over Utah (23-51) on March 7.

The Knicks have won five straight meetings with the Jazz by an average of 19.2 points. New York had lost five consecutive visits to Salt Lake City before overcoming Anthony’s absence in a 90-83 victory March 18, 2013.

Western Conference-worst Utah has dropped 15 of 17 games while averaging 92.3 points.

The Jazz struggled in nearly every facet Sunday, scoring a season-low nine points in the first quarter en route to a 116-96 loss at Oklahoma City.

"They were aggressive on the defensive end and we settled for a lot of jump shots," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We missed jump shots and they were able to run the ball out on us."

Enes Kanter is looking to build on his 18 points and 12 rebounds from Sunday, but he’s averaging 6.3 and 4.8 in four career meetings with the Knicks. The center had nine of each off the bench against them earlier this month.

Gordon Hayward had 18 points in that matchup, and he enters this one averaging 21.8 on 45.6 percent from the field over the past four games.