Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward finished the night with a hyper-efficient scoring effort of 24 points on fourteen shot attempts, including knocking down an array of three-pointers, 4-of-4 to be exact, to go along with a stat-stuffing five assists, four rebounds, and one steal. Hayward would lead the Jazz to a 106-85 blowout win over the New York Knicks.
The Jazz capitalized on the sagging New York Knicks defense and produced as a whole, lighting up the three-point stripe at a 42.9 percent clip and connecting on 48.8 percent on all field goal attempts. This game got away from the Knicks early, finding themselves down 17 at the end of the first. The Knicks managed to play their worst quarter of the season in the first, scoring a season-low 11 points on a ghastly 22 percent mark from the field.
The Jazz were in the drivers seat as they had complete control in this one. Utah refused to let up their offensive intensity, never allowed the Knicks to strike a comeback attempt, or bring the lead within 12.
Carmelo Anthony had yet another off shooting night, struggling to get to the paint and to score in general, totaling just 12 points in the contest. Going 3-11 from the field, Anthony claims that his legs, "are still recovering from knee surgery," thus being the reason he has shot at a measly 37 percent in his last five games. Anthony is averaging his lowest scoring total per game in years (21.5).
Kristaps Porzingis found himself in a slump on the night as well, shooting 2-for-8 from the field, finishing with four points and snagging just three rebounds.
This lack of production can be due to Porzingis only playing less than 14 minutes in the entire game, an odd decision by head coach Derek Fisher. Porzingis sat for the majority of the contest, but with shot-blocking Frenchman Rudy Gobert out with a sprained MCL, Porzingis and the rest of the Knickerbockers should have taken advantage but ultimately did not, as they were outrebounded 51-to-36.
The Jazz looked back on track with their ball-pushing, defensively-gritty ways, as they held down the fort in Gobert's absence. Between the two, Hayward and Derrick Favors led the Jazz with a combined 17-of-27 from the field. They played great basketball and were an unstoppable duo tonight that led this team to the 21-point blowout win over the Knicks.
The Utah Jazz have won two of their last three contests and look to keep their high-volume play alive, as they look ahead at their next matchup hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. The Thunder have been explosive as of late, winning two of their last three in the month of December between the dynamic duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
The New York Knicks will continue to find their stride as they play Thursday on the road against the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have struggled, winning just one of their last four games played in December.