This was quite a game. No Carmelo Anthony. No Gordon Hayward. No Jose Calderon. No Alec Burks. No Tim Hardaway Jr. No Ian Clark. No Quiny Acy. No Grant Jerrett. But there were lots of effort plays made by the Utah Jazz as Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood, and Joe Ingles made sure to avoid losing to the worst team in the league, the New York Knicks.
The game started off with the Jazz losing Andrea Bargnani on defensive rotations -- no doubt partly because they trotted out a new starting lineup of Trey Burke, Dante Exum, Elijah Millsap, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert. Quin Snyder was forced to take an early time out, but the team seemed to settle for a bit. New York wasn't going away, but they were having a lot of trouble scoring inside because of Rudy Gobert. The Jazz' defense tried to pick it up, but it was all-in-all a less than perfect game for both teams. The Jazz were doing their business on the inside, but the Knicks were rotating the ball over and over, and finding the open man. It was a four point lead after one, and then the game got a whole lot uglier.
Cole Aldrich and Lou Amundson gave their team a little life line, and their physicality pushed Rudy off balance more than once. With New York finding a way to score inside the Jazz found themselves in a dog fight. Or dog poop. Probably the poo one. The 2nd quarter was won by the Jazz 19-15 Favors was beasting early and often. Dante was getting blocks and dunks, and hitting threes. Rudy was Rudy. Things were rolling for the Jazz, and then the 3rd quarter happened.
And in the 3rd the Knicks went out there and score 30 points on Utah. Utah's defense had been holding teams to less than 20 for a long time, but the Knicks went for 20 in the first, and now 30 in the third. Rodney Hood's shooting, and Joe Ingles all around game were needed as the Knicks changed their defense, and doubled Favors hard each time he caught the ball inside. Still, it was all tied up after three.
The fourth quarter was not good basketball. The Jazz did win, and it was because of the group efforts of Favors, Gobert, Ingles, and Hood.This would have been a nice game for Trey to step up with Alec and Gordon out. But he had a poor shooting night, and was uncharacteristically turn over prone (only 2 assists against 2 turn overs!).
- Derrick Favors, 29 pts, 12 reb, 2 stl
- Rodney Hood, 17 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 3 threes
- Joe Ingles, 12 pts, 3 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 4/8 shooting
- Rudy Gobert, 10 pts, 14 reb, 1 ast, 3 stl, 5 blk
- Dante Exum, 8 pts, 1 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk, 2 threes
- Trey Burke, 5 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast
Sadly everyone else played kinda worse than Trey did. But a win is a win. The Jazz play next on Thursday, hosting the Houston Rockets.