O’Neale pours in career-high 20 points as Jazz beat Knicks for 9th straight win, 108-94

Sports

Rudy Gobert adds 18 points and 19 rebounds, as Jazz avenge its only loss in last three weeks

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It is said that revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, it was a chilly night in Salt Lake City.

The Utah Jazz avenged its only loss in the last three weeks, extending its NBA-best winning streak to nine with a 108-94 victory over the New York Knicks Tuesday night at Vivint Arena.

The Jazz were not at their best, with leading scorer Donovan Mitchell going for just nine points on 3 of 15 shooting, but they still found away to win with defense and a strong second half.

Royce O’Neale scored a career-high 20 points, while Rudy Gobert added 18 points and 19 rebounds for the Jazz, who last lost on January 6th to the Knicks.

“I was just taking what the defense was giving me,” said O’Neale, who made 7 of 12 shots from the field. “Whether I was knocking down open shots, cutting to the basket or finding teammates, guys were finding me as I was open, and we were just moving the ball.”

“We did a lot of good things that didn’t show up on the scoreboard,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “People talk about winning ugly and tonight ugly was pretty.”

Mike Conley had 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Jordan Clarkson added 13 points off the bench, while Bojan Bogdanovic scored 11 points.

The Jazz made 15 three-pointers, marking the 7th consecutive game with 15 more more 3s. That is the third longest streak in NBA history.

The Jazz have won by an average margin of 16 points per game during the win streak.

Austin Rivers scored 25 points for New York — all in the first half. Julius Randle had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and R.J. Barrett scored 17 in the Knicks’ third straight loss.

New York made just 12 total baskets in the second half on the heels of shooting 55.8% from the field before halftime. The Jazz made numerous hustle plays and forced the Knicks to settle for one tough shot after another.

By the fourth quarter, New York’s offense was thoroughly bottled up. The Knicks scored only 13 points over the final 12 minutes.

“That’s who we are,” Snyder said. “We kept battling, and didn’t feel sorry for ourselves that shots weren’t being made in the first half, and we hung in there.”

“We held them to a 13-point fourth quarter,{ said Mitchell. “That’s who we need to be. I’m really happy with the way we finished and as we played as a whole. At the end of the day, sunshine and rainbows everyday. That’s the best part about this is we’re learning how to fight adversity in different ways. This is a good win.”

The Jazz trailed by as many 15 points in the first half, but grabbed the lead for good when they opened the fourth quarter with a 20-3 run. O’Neale punctuated the key stretch with three straight baskets, giving Utah a 100-84 lead with 5:19 remaining.

“We kept our focus on the defensive end,” Gobert said. “We didn’t worry about the missed shots. All of the sudden, we got stops and the shots started falling.

Utah endured a cold spell on offense during the first quarter. The Jazz missed 12 of their first 14 shots and shot 2 of 13 from the perimeter during the period. They made only six baskets in the first 12 minutes.

Rivers scored 18 of New York’s first 21 points in the second quarter. His flurry of baskets stopped a Jazz rally. After Utah cut the deficit to 36-32 on back-to-back layups from Joe Ingles and Gobert, Rivers made three 3-pointers to fuel a 12-2 run that extended the Knicks’ lead to 48-34 midway through the quarter.

Rivers went 10 of 10 from the field during the first half, including five 3-pointers. He had a limited impact after halftime once Utah made a point of taking him out of the offense.

“In the second half, they became more physical, they took the fight to us,” Rivers said. “And it just kind of fell apart. They just kept their foot on the pedal, and we weren’t able to get it back. This was the toughest loss of the trip.”

Conley and Bogdanovic rallied the Jazz, combining for 22 points during the third quarter. Conley made four baskets, assisted on a pair, and hit four free throws during the quarter. Bogdanovic hit a pair of 3-pointers.

The Jazz (13-4) are now the second seed in the Western Conference, and will host the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.

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