The Knicks lost the fourth game of their four-game west coast road trip against the Jazz in blowout fashion with their top scorers, Marcus Morris and Julius Randle, unavailable.
The New York Knicks (10-28) ended their four-game road trip with an old-fashioned blowout, losing to the Utah Jazz, 128-104.
Utah owned the game from the start, jumping out to a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter. The Knicks responded to a 19-point halftime deficit by missing their first seven shots, including four layups. The Jazz’s lead climbed to 29 points midway through the third quarter; the Knicks only led for 12 seconds of game time.
New York looked to attack the rim despite the presence of center Rudy Gobert, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. They shot 43.4% from the field, though garbage time scoring helped inflate the number.
Meanwhile, the Jazz let it rain from beyond the arc, shooting 4-for-8 in the first quarter and 5-of-10 in the second quarter. They saw open three-pointers time after time.
Bojan Bogdanovic torched New York. He made his first three field goals on the way to dropping 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting on triples in the first quarter. He finished with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting
Gobert dominated the paint on both ends. His performance on offense looked similar to Mitchell Robinson against the Portland Trail Blazers. Gobert got himself open on the pick-and-roll like clockwork, often drawing fouls. He finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists.
Former Knick point guard Emmanuel Mudiay scored 20 points—a season-high—on 8-12 shooting.
Frank Ntilikina was New York’s biggest difference-maker tonight, and perhaps the only positive. His defense was strong and he looked aggressive on offense. He led the team in scoring with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He also recorded four rebounds and three assists.
Frankie FEELIN it in transition in Q1pic.twitter.com/XUDmSXavuY— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 9, 2020
Elfrid Payton and Bobby Portis were second on the Knicks in scoring, both tallying 13 points apiece.
Julius Randle (personal reasons) and Marcus Morris (neck) were out tonight. Bobby Portis and Reggie Bullock joined Eflrid Payton, R.J. Barrett, and Taj Gibson in the starting lineup.
As expected no Morris, Randle or Smith. Bullock and portis start.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 9, 2020
Bullock recorded nine points on 4-of-9 shooting. His pull-up jump shot two minutes into the game gave New York its only (albeit brief) lead of the game.
Portis recorded 13 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists on 5-of-17 shooting. He drew a flagrant foul for hitting someone in the head as they drove to the basket for the second game in a row, this time whacking Bogdanovic in the head. Today the league announced Portis would be fined $25,000 for his hit on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in yesterday’s Lakers matchup, resulting in a Flagrant-2 and immediate ejection. He will avoid suspension, however.
New York’s offense looked lost without its two leading scorers, Morris and Randle. It was obvious that the Knicks missed their shot creation. Taj Gibson and Mitchell Robinson set screens constantly on offense, but Payton and Ntilikina were really the only ones that used them well.
The Knicks struggled to convert on three-pointers. They shot just one triple in the third quarter and made just three of their 10 first-half three-point attempts.
- Frank Ntilikina recorded seven points on 3-for-5 shooting, three rebounds, and a team-high +7 in seven minutes in the first half. He didn’t play the rest of the first half after that positive shift.
Frankie pulls up and knocks it down off the screen from Mitch pic.twitter.com/q0UhWBcrqN— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 9, 2020
- The Knicks did a pitiful job drawing fouls. They only attempted six in the first half and five in the second half, converting on all 11 attempts.
- The Jazz opened the second half with a 10-0 run in the first three minutes. Mike Miller called a time out with 8:42 left. The Knicks scored right out of it on a Gibson dunk but then scored just once in the next two minutes.
- Calling New York’s defense porous doesn’t do justice. They couldn’t stop Utah from penetrating the paint. These struggles opened up the corners for Utah’s shooters.
- Rookie Ignas Brazdeikis, who turned 21 years old on Wednesday, got some garbage time minutes. He recorded three points and two assists in five minutes.
The Knicks are back in action Friday night as they welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to Madison Square Garden.