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  • Eric Martinez

Knicks score 118 and hand Utah Jazz first home loss of the season

For the New York Knicks to succeed in the Eastern Conference, it is all about consistency and limiting turnovers. The Knicks had won 3 of their last 7 games and their opponents, Utah Jazz, had also dropped their last 2 games in a row with a loss in Washington and Philadelphia. One of the Achilles heel for the NY Knicks has been the lack of ability to close out close games in the 4th quarter. Coming into the game the Knicks’ record was 6-7 with their sights on evening their record to .500.

The Knicks started the game with an offensive surge and never looked back. Their aggressive attack on offense set the tone for the second half as New York led the Jazz at the half 61-58, and more importantly, had a low turnover rate and were consistent from the free throw line. In the second half, more of the same came from the Knicks with point guard, Jalen Brunson ending up with 25 points, 8 assists in 34 minutes, in addition New York had 5 other players contribute with double digit points including Julius Randle (15 points), Cam Reddish (19 points), R.J. Barrett (18 points), Immanuel Quickley (13 points), and Jericho Sims (11 points). Knicks outshot the Jazz by shooting 47% from the field and 34.4% from the free throw line compared to Jazz shooting 43% from field and 32.6% from the free throw stripe. The difference in the game came down to the New York Knicks defense. Jazz turned the ball over 21 times and led to the Knicks scoring 21 fast break points as a result of it. The Jazz were held to only 40 points scored in the paint and were blocked 3 times, 43 team rebounds, in addition to 10 turnovers created by the Knicks defense.

Tuesday’s loss is the first home loss of the season for the Utah Jazz. The Knicks, who scored 118 points is the headline that everyone will talk about, but in reality, the way that the 4th quarter was controlled by New York is what the players are proud of. Guard Jalen Brunson emphasized, “We stuck together for four quarters. When they made a run, we just looked at each other and said, it’s time to tighten it up and we just kept fighting.” The sense of urgency was noticeable by the Knicks play this evening. New York’s bench contributed with 39 points by playing a total nine-man rotation. New York now heads to Denver to play the Nuggets for a back-to-back for a challenging game against a 9-4 Western Conference favorite. The Utah Jazz now drops to 10-6 and will host the Phoenix Suns on Friday for what will be an interesting game of two surging teams.

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