On Monday Night, at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, the Knicks (39-26) defeated the Utah Jazz (34-33) 90-83. Box Score
J.R. Smith led the Knicks in scoring with 20 points on 5-13 shooting from the floor. He was 9-10 at the line and scored 18 of his 20 points all in the second half. He also added five rebounds.
Raymond Felton scored 19 points on 8-12 shooting to go with four rebounds and three steals.
Chris Copeland scored 14 points on 6-15 shooting from the floor with six rebounds and two assists in 31 minutes.
The Jazz were led in scoring by Gordon Hayward with 17 points on 6-14 shooting. He also had four blocks, three rebounds and two assists.
Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson combined for only 22 points on 8-22 shooting from the floor. Jefferson had 11 rebounds while Derrick Favors led the Jazz in rebounding off the bench with 13.
Kurt Thomas played 27 minutes off the bench and scored six points on 3-5 shooting with three rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
The Knicks were out-rebounded 46-34 and the Jazz had a 19-8 edge on the offensive glass.
Marcus Camby was the only player on either team that played and did not score a single point.
With Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni in the starting lineup, it was the first time the Knicks started two undrafted free agents since the stat was recorded in 1970-1971
This was the Knicks first win in Utah since 2005 (0-5 in during the losing streak)
The Knicks maintain their one game lead in the Atlantic Division over the Nets and now have a 3.5 game lead over the Celtics.
The Knicks are now 5-9 on the road against Western Conference teams this season. Only remaining road game out West will be against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Knicks Win A Game! The Knicks Win A Game! The Knicks Win A Game!
Obviously, the reason the Knicks won tonight is because in the pre game I asked nicely. The Knicks appreciated my manners and decided to come through for you and I, to get a much needed victory.
Ok, lets be serious for just a moment. We must first applaud the effort the Knicks gave at the end of a road trip and on the second night of a back to back. To have their top two players out and get a win in a tough place like Utah is pretty impressive.
J.R. Smith who played with as much energy as a zombie in the first half was big leading the Knicks back in the third when they fell behind by six. Then you have Kurt Thomas, who on a bad foot, was an inspiration to his teammates and fans for his play.
Every Knick that played tonight besides Marcus Camby scored and seemed to contribute in some way, whether big or small, to this win tonight.
This was the kind of loss for the Jazz that they will look back and curse themselves for having if they happen to miss the playoffs, which they would if the season ended today.
You also had to like that the Knicks, trailing in the third did not pack it in like what you saw in the Portland game, battled back and held on for the victory.
The Knicks in a way, considering the injuries and overall play on this trip, survived with their division lead in tact. They now head back East and can look forward to some winnable games with Orlando and Toronto coming up before a couple of showdowns with Boston and Memphis next week.
The trip is thankfully over and through all the negativity this trip gave us and the Knicks players, it ends on a positive note and 1-4 looks better than 0-5.
Now it’s time for them to hopefully get healthy, stay healthy, and get to the playoffs, playing at their best. It’s not going to be easy, but when is it ever easy for the Knicks?
Coming up next the Knicks are finally back home after this rough road trip and look to get back on track as they will take on Jameer Nelson, Glen Davis and the Orlando Magic. The game is on Wednesday at 7:30 pm and can be seen on MSG.