On Saturday Night, at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (38-22) defeated the Utah Jazz (32-31) 113-84. Box Score
The Knicks were led in scoring tonight by J.R. Smith with 24 points on 10-18 shooting including 4-8 from three. He added six rebounds and three assists.
Steve Novak was second on the team in scoring with a season high 20 points while shooting 7-12 from the field. He was 5-10 from three and added two assists.
Kenyon Martin came off the bench and scored 10 points on 4-6 shooting with six rebounds, one assist and two steals.
Alec Burks led the Jazz in scoring with 14 points on 5-12 shooting with one rebounds and one assist. Gordon Hayward scored 13 points with five rebounds while Enes Kanter had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony missed the game tonight with a knee injury and the Knicks moved to 5-5 without him this season. Amar’e Stoudemire also missed the game tonight and will be out six weeks for knee surgery. The Knicks are now 22-9 without him this season.
Pablo Prigioni scored seven points with five assists and five rebounds while Chris Copeland was let out of the dog house and scored 12 points in less than eight minutes in the fourth quarter.
Raymond Felton (15) and Iman Shumpert (10) scored a combined 25 points of the starting lineups 36 overall points.
The Knicks had six players in double figures with four of those players (Smith, Novak, Copeland and Martin) coming off the bench.
The Knicks bench scored 75 points while the starters only scored 36. They outscored the Jazz bench 75-53.
The Jazz turned it over 19 times and only had 13 assists while the Knicks turned it over 12 times while accumulating 21 assists.
Marcus Camby and Earl Watson were the only players to play in the game and not score any points.
Jason Kidd was the only player who was a negative in the plus/minus stat as a -13.
The home team in this series has now won 12 of the last 13 games and the Jazz have not won at MSG since November of 2009.
No Melo, No Amar’e, No Jazz effort, No problems for our New York Knicks tonight.
Now, a win is a win and considering the talent on the sidelines for the team, I’m somewhat impressed they blew out a Western Conference playoff team. But, I have a feeling the Jazz had one foot on the plane once that early 11-4 lead they had disappeared.
This Knicks team that you saw tonight looked an awful lot like the team we saw early in the season. Playing tough team defense, knocking down threes and playing garbage time in the fourth quarter.
It had been a long time since the Knicks had a blowout game in their favor, nearly a month since that bludgeoning of the Kings, and it was so nice to sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
J.R. Smith was running around hitting ridiculous shots, Steve Novak hit a runner off the glass off the dribble and Chris Copeland aka Predator was allowed to play! He would score 12 points and it was so nice to see.
The Jazz, playing the second game of a back to back on the road at the end of a road trip really played like they couldn’t care less. With Paul Millsap out and Al Jefferson at MSG in body but not in spirit, the Jazz were totally lost. When we see them again next week in Utah, they will play and look a lot differently.
Tonight you saw what kind of team and heart the Knicks have when they are clicking on all cylinders. Remember, this is a team that without Melo, Amar’e and Shumpert went to Miami and beat them by 20. So this team has had the odds against them and rose to the occasion against the best of the NBA.
I think Kenyon Martin looked good and could fill in where Rasheed Wallace left off. As you already know I think Chris Copeland deserves playing time and Pablo Prigioni has done way more good than bad all season. All the role players collectively did one thing or another to contribute to this victory.
Yes this team has issues going forward and they wont look this good every game. But the potential was on display tonight and you saw why some people thought Glen Grunwald was the greatest GM ever back in November and December.
With the West Coast trip finally upon us, we all know that getting Melo back healthy is going to be important. Tonight’s performance does not change that. But for at least one night, the Knicks stepped their games up collectively without their stars and got a win.
Coming up next the Knicks begin their much anticipated and dreaded five game West Coast trip as they will take on Stephen Curry, David Lee and the Golden State Warriors. The game is on Monday at 10:30 pm and can be seen on MSG.