Jazz Win Nine Straight Despite Poor Start Against Knicks
The Utah Jazz are now second place in the Western Conference after earning their ninth straight win on Tuesday night. The Jazz has 13 wins and just four losses, but they were close to earning their fifth loss during Tuesdays’ win.
Utah was playing poorly against the visiting New York Knicks during the early half. With new coach Tom Thibodeau leading New York, their defense was focused on playing aggressive and challenging every possession. This worked out for the Knicks as Utah had shooting woes during the first half. Utah was unable to make any shots fall as their star player Donovan Mitchell struggled throughout the night.
By the end of the first half, New York was leading 59-46. Utah regrouped and found their mojo as Royce O’Neale led the way for the team. O’Neale dropped a career-high 20 points as Mitchell struggled in the scoring mark. Mitchell finished the game with just nine points. In addition, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley Jr. helped with the team scoring. Conely, who scored 19 points in the night. complimented O’Neale saying, “I think Royce is like the glue to this team. He’s asked on a nightly basis to guard the best players, create opportunities for guys offensively by just driving the ball… give us extra possessions. We know how important he is, and tonight he really showed out.”
Utah rallied during the second half as they outscored New York, whose offense started to slow down. Gobert played a major part on defense as he helped Utah out-rebound the Knicks, 53-44. Gobert finished the game with 18 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks. The Knicks gave up 11 turnovers and committed 21 fouls that resulted in the Jazz converting 19 free throws.
Utah will now be gearing up to face the Dallas Mavericks twice, Wednesday and Friday nights.