RECAP: Royce O’Neale gives Jazz a boost in win over Knicks

Jan 26, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) shoots the ball past Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Royce O’Neale scored a career-high 20 points and Rudy Gobert dominated the interior as the Utah Jazz defeated the New York Knicks 108-94 on Tuesday in Salt Lake City for their ninth straight victory.

With leading scorer Donovan Mitchell struggling — scoring only nine points on 3-of-15 shooting — O’Neale picked up the pace by connecting on 7 of 12 attempts while also grabbing six rebounds.

Gobert hauled in 19 rebounds, to go with 18 points and four blocked shots, and Mike Conley scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half.

Austin Rivers led New York with 25 points, including hitting 5 of 7 of the 3-pointers he attempted, but he was held scoreless in the second half after going 10-for-10 in a red-hot first half.

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Julius Randle added 18 points and 10 rebounds for New York, which wrapped up a four-game Western trip with its third straight loss.

This was a reversal from the game these two teams played Jan. 6 in Madison Square Garden, when the Knicks stormed back from an 18-point deficit to win by 12. On Tuesday, the Jazz trailed by 15 late in the first half but caught up early in the fourth quarter.

The Jazz haven’t lost since that setback in New York, while the Knicks have dropped eight of 11.

Conley scored 12 quick points out of the locker room to cut the Knicks’ 13-point halftime lead to 67-66 after not making a field goal in the first half.

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Utah opened up the fourth quarter by outscoring New York 20-3.

O’Neale shined during that run, giving Utah a 100-84 lead with three straight inside baskets.

The Knicks had a 15-8 lead, thanks to seven early points from Randle, when Rivers entered. The backup guard had seven by the end of the first quarter as the Knicks seized a 27-18 lead and sizzled in the second quarter, hitting seven straight shots, including four from long range, for 18 points.

The Jazz will be back in action Wednesday night at home against Dallas, while New York returns home for a short break before hosting Cleveland on Friday.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Jazz, check out their rumors, rankings, and news here

–Field Level Media