Knicks blow another double-digit lead in loss to Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY – Besieged Julius Randle was driving. Mitchell Robinson was snapping. And the Knicks were winning by 12 after a 24-2 loss late in the third quarter.

But like in Los Angeles, the Knicks blew another double-digit lead and suffered a 113-104 loss to the mighty Jazz on Monday at Vivint Arena.

Horrible offensively in the fourth quarter, the Knicks fell to their season-worst 24-30, 0-2 on the decisive trip out West with the trade deadline looming.

“It’s tough. 0-2 to start the journey,” said Randle, who scored 30 points. compete for championships.”

The Knicks had just 16 points in the fourth before two meaningless buckets in the final 40 seconds. The Knicks won games like this last season with steel fourth quarterbacks and are losing them now.

“Every team is different,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We played well for three quarters. You have a smaller margin of error on the road. The fourth trimester is different – its intensity. Our turnovers put them in the open floor and they got easy buckets. There is a small difference between winning and losing. Right now we are falling short and we need to improve.

Julius Randle shoots a jumper for the Knicks in their loss to the Jazz on Monday night.

The Jazz, without center Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles out for the season, went 33-21 as Donovan Mitchell killed the hometown team with 32 points.

Randle had a team-high in points and appeared to be in All-Star form for three quarters. Robinson went for 19 points and 21 rebounds. But Randle calmed down late and Robinson wasn’t big enough in the end, wasting a defensive rebound to Mitchell, who passed it to beefy Udoka Azubuike for a pivotal slam dunk.

“Winning games,” Mitchell said.

Robinson then missed two key free throws with 3:01 left and the Knicks had no firepower on the stretch.

The killer came when Evan Fournier capped off a poor outing by bouncing the ball off his foot and Bojan Bogdanovich raced for a quick dunk to make it 102-97 with less than two minutes left.

“These last two losses are good and bad,” said RJ Barrett. “The good thing that we play extremely well for most of the game and we take it to those teams and get them back on their heels. That’s the positive part. Once we get to that point, don’t give them no life.

A quick break from Randle to Barrett made the lead 82-70 with 3:14 left in the third cap of the 24-2 run. Randle threw a rebound pass to Barrett, who missed a layup, but Randle followed with the tap-in with 3:14 left in the third.

Mitchell Robinson dunks the ball.

But the Jazz closed the quarter well and were within 86-82 after three, buoyed by a third chance from Jordan Clarkson. It may or may not be a coincidence that Cam Reddish entered the contest right after the 24-2 run and the Knicks saw their lead disintegrate.

As backup point guard Immanuel Quickley became a train wreck early in the fourth quarter, Mike Conley Jr. drained a 3-pointer to get the Jazz 86-85 with 10:15 to go and they surged forward for real.

With the Knicks shorthanded, the rarely used Reddish played 15 minutes, scoring six points, shooting 1 of 4 from the field but was 21-under.

The Knicks were missing starting point guard Kemba Walker, who was taking a day off the first night of a straight game. And they were also less rookie shooting guard Quentin Grimes (sore knee).

This allowed Alec Burks to slip in as a starter at point guard and moved the little-used reddish into a sold out part of the backup unit.

New York Post

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