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The Roundup—Jazz 108, Knicks 101
On a night when the franchise honored the 20th anniversary of the 1996-97 Western Conference championship team, the Utah Jazz overcame a double-digit deficit to claim a 108-101 win over the Knicks and pull within one game of clinching their first playoff berth since the 2011-12 season.
One more Jazz win or one Denver loss punches Utah's ticket to the postseason.
Rudy Gobert led the Jazz with a career-high 35 points, while Gordon Hayward shook off a rough start to finish with 19 points and eight rebounds in the win.
George Hill added 15 points, while Joe Johnson and Raul Neto chipped in 10 points each off the bench.
Kristaps Porzingis scored a team-high 24 points for the Knicks (27-44).
Gobert was relentless—on defense, on the glass, at the rim. He single-handedly kept the Jazz in the game while Hayward struggled through the first three quarters, shooting a remarkably efficient 13-for-14 from the field (and 9-for-12 from the line) for 35 points. Gobert grabbed 11 of his 13 rebounds on the offensive glass, and he added one assist, one steal and four blocks. The Knicks simply couldn't handle the Stifle Tower.
The Jazz closed the first half on a 10-2 run to cut New York's lead to four. Gobert put the exclamation point on it when he stole the inbounds pass at half court and took the ball the rest of the way for a two-handed flush with 8.0 seconds left in the second quarter. Gobert opened the second half with two blocks and a tip-in bucket to keep the Jazz rolling.
The Knicks used an 8-0 run (after Gobert went to the bench) to take a three-point lead into the fourth quarter. A tip-in by Jeff Withey pulled Utah within one, and then Hayward got going. After shooting 2-for-12 to start the game, Hayward made four straight shots—he got to the rim for a layup, canned a 3-pointer, and then added another jumper and layup. Consecutive layups by Gobert (off a dish from Hayward) and Hill gave Utah an 11-point lead with just over three minutes left to play.
Thanks in large part to Gobert and his 11 offensive rebounds, Utah scored 30 second-chance points to New York's eight. The Jazz also outscored the Knicks 56-44 in the paint.
The Jazz couldn't buy a bucket from outside, shooting only 7-for-28 (25.0 percent) as a team from 3-point range. Neto (2-for-2) was the only Utah player to make more than one 3-pointer.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"[Rudy] was very, very good tonight. ... It was just an excellent effort in a lot of ways on his part. If he doesn't play that way, we don't win."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, Greg Ostertag, Jerry Sloan and Frank Layden were just a few of the members of the 1996-97 Jazz organization who were present for the special halftime ceremony. ... Tonight's game was broadcast nationally on ESPN. ... Derrick Rose (17 points, six assists) and Carmelo Anthony (16 points) also scored in double figures for the Knicks. ... Neto shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field. ... Hill led the Jazz with four assists. ... Withey finished with six points and two blocks in 10 minutes. ... Derrick Favors (knee) and Shelvin Mack (ankle) were out for the Jazz.
The Jazz will hit the road for a matchup with the LA Clippers on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. MT, and the game will be televised on ROOT SPORTS.