Jazz Beats Knicks – In Lauri Markkanen’s comeback game, the Utah Jazz secured a 117-113 victory over the New York Knicks. Despite a restricted playing time of 25 minutes due to a strained hamstring, Markkanen delivered an impressive performance, scoring 23 points for the Jazz. Collin Sexton led the team with 26 points, while Julius Randle led the Knicks with 32.
The game’s intensity heightened in the first quarter when Keyonte George suffered a left foot injury, forcing him to exit the game after attempting to walk it off. This setback is a concern for the rookie, who has a history of ankle injuries dating back to his time at Baylor. Although ruled out for the remainder of the game, the silver lining is that it’s his left foot, not the problematic right ankle.
George’s departure seemed to trigger an avalanche, as the Knicks unleashed a 24-15 assault, leaving the Jazz reeling at 31-24. But just as the lights threatened to dim on Utah’s hopes, Markkanen stepped into the spotlight, draining two quick threes to reignite the home fires. Hendricks, emboldened by the shift, joined the fray with a dunk and a defensive gem, setting the stage for Sexton’s three-point dagger that cut the Knicks’ lead to a tantalizing two.
After a quiet first half, Walker Kessler exploded in the third quarter, dominating both ends of the court. He punished the Knicks with thunderous dunks, devoured rebounds, and his imposing presence shut down New York’s shooters. By the end of the frame, the Jazz roared ahead 89-84, fueled by Kessler’s newfound fire.
The Knicks’ long-range bricked like tombstones throughout the first three quarters, sinking only 6 of 26 threes. Meanwhile, the Jazz kept it a contest from downtown, raining fire (13-30) to stay afloat.
Walker Kessler, a phantom in the first half, roared awake in the third. He punished the rim, devoured rebounds, and loomed like a shadow over Knicks shooters. His power play helped Utah edge ahead 89-84 after three.
The Jazz pounced early in the fourth, rattling off five quick points to stretch the lead to 95-84. Talen Horton-Tucker, previously ice cold, found his fire. He attacked the Knicks in transition, burying his first four shots of the quarter.
With 1:55 left, a DiVincenzo three sliced the lead to five, a flicker of hope in the New York darkness. But two final chances in the dying seconds – Grimes and Brunson, decent looks from downtown – clanked off the rim. The Jazz, 117-113 victors, had weathered the storm.