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Knicks go back to basics on defense

Coach Jeff Hornacek wants his players to get back to fundamentals because of ‘slippage.’

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek during agame against

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek during agame against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 3, 2017. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

SAN FRANCISCO — If the Knicks gave up 127 points to the Lakers on Sunday, how many are they going to give up to the Warriors on Tuesday night?

That’s a question Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek smartly did not ponder Monday. The team’s lengthy practice one day after a defensive debacle against the Lakers did not focus on the defending champion Warriors.

“Just getting back to fundamentals that we were stressing at the beginning of the year,” Hornacek said. “We’ve had some slippage in that . . . Our focus today was not on Golden State. It’s on some of our basic principles that we’ve got to get better at and continue to work on. Tomorrow, we’ll try to go over a game plan that will hopefully slow them down a little bit.”

Golden State is a league-best 37-10 and is 16-6 at home. The Warriors, who led the NBA in scoring at 115.8 points per game going into Monday, are coming off a 116-108 loss in Houston on Saturday. So Stephen Curry and Co. might be a little fired up Tuesday night.

“We know they’ll have a lot of energy,” Hornacek said. “Great teams come off losses with a different mindset. Guys are going to have to be ready . . . They can score a lot of points. So we’re going to have to do a lot of things right in that game.”

The Knicks lost last season’s visit to Oracle Arena, 103-90. Carmelo Anthony sat out the game to rest and the Warriors held Kristaps Porzingis to eight points — the same number scored by Curry, who had a rare off night.

Porzingis hopes to find out before Tuesday’s game that he has been selected as a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star team. The coaches vote on the reserves. Porzingis just missed being named a starter as Joel Embiid of the 76ers beat him out in the combined player, media and fan vote.

“It would be a dream come true for me for sure to be an All-Star,” said Porzingis, who spent a long time after practice working on the arc on his jump shot. “I never really thought it was something possible before I made it to the NBA. As I kept playing and kept going as a player, I just always set high goals for myself, and to be an All-Star, that would be a dream come true for me, definitely.”

On Tuesday, Porzingis will be matched up against Draymond Green, the reigning NBA defensive player of the year.

“He’s a good defender,” Porzingis said. “I’m excited. It’s going to be a good game.”

Last season, in a seemingly innocuous comment, Porzingis said pretty much the same thing about facing Green. Green later said he took the comment personally and that it made him go harder to stop Porzingis. A feud was born — at least on Green’s end.

“It’s just competitiveness,” Porzingis said. “That’s what it is. I wish to get to that type of level that they are at right now. That’s the goal.”

New York Sports