Written by William Lee
Utah Jazz losing streak is extended to five games, fall to the New York Knicks Friday night 108-81.
New York again led wire to wire for a second consecutive game, scoring 39 points in the first quarter. The 39 points was the most points scored in any individual quarter by New York in any quarter this season.
Since Amare Stoudemire has been inserted into the starting lineup three games ago, the Knicks have been a +42 in first quarters. Stoudemire has been extremely impressive looking, even on defense!
Stoudemire with 9:05 remaining in the first quarter blocked a Derrick Favors layup attempt, igniting a fast break, leading to a J.R. Smith three. Smith was on fire from distance Friday night, knocking down five three-pointers, finishing the game with 17 points. Amare Stoudemire looked lively, running the floor on the fast break, drawing a foul with 7:14 left in the first quarter, he would convert on both free throws increasing New York’s lead to 16-8. On the very next Knicks’ possession, Stoudemire would continue to impress, getting a quick step on his defender throwing down a slam dunk. The most impressive play from Stoudemire Friday night, wasn’t any of these plays. It was a defensive play, where Stoudemire got switched out onto Utah’s best player, Gordon Hayward. With Hayward trying to pull off a combination of crossover moves, Stoudemire was quick enough on his feet to stay in front of Hayward, forcing Hayward to take a desperation long two. Stoudemire would show his quick feet again in the second quarter, drawing a charge from an attacking Richard Jefferson.
Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 29 points in the first quarter. Anthony scored the last 11 points in the quarter for the Knicks, highlighted by a four point play. New York held a 39-22 lead in the first quarter, scoring at an extremely effective rate, shooting 70% from the field, while holding Utah to 38.9% shooting.
Rest of the way, both teams would essentially trade baskets, until the fourth quarter, where it was garbage time for both teams. Tyson Chandler dominated the third quarter, scoring eight points in the period off of three alley-oops and a tip-in. The third alley-opp came off of Carmelo Anthony, who collected his eighth assist for the game, which marked a season high for him. Tyson Chandler recorded his 13th double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
It was great that New York got to rest its starters the entire fourth quarter due to the blowout with another game Saturday night. Saturday’s opponent will be another team that is on a losing streak, in the Cleveland Cavaliers.