Knicks takeaways from Tuesday’s 118-111 win against Jazz, including Jalen Brunson’s clutch in the fourth quarter

Jalen Brunson rides against Jazz

Jalen Brunson rides against Jazz

After a dinner for players only, led by Julius Randlethe Knicks answered and defeated the Jazz, 118-111 in Utah on Tuesday.

In the team’s first of their five-game West Coast road trip, coach Tom Thibodeau started RJ Barrett, Randle, Cam Reddish, Isaiah Hartenstein and Jalen Brunson against the pistons.

Here are the takeaways….

– The Knicks got off to a flying start with Brunson and Barrett using their mid-range play to give New York an early lead. Hartenstein got his second foul with over eight minutes left in the first quarter, and Thibs had to put in Jericho Sims early.

Sims provided some energy in the beginning by saving balls, grabbing rebounds leading to quick break opportunities. Reddish, as he struggled offensively, his defense helped keep the score close, even as the Knicks went more than three minutes without scoring. Both teams went back and forth, but Utah finished the opening frame 27-23.

The Knicks shot 38 percent and 3-for-10 out of three. But it was their lack of defense that got them into trouble. They let the Jazz shoot 48 percent and flipped the ball four times. Nine Knicks came in sometime in the first quarter as Thibodeau continues to look for the best rotation.

Obie Toppin, Immanuel Quickly, Derrick Rose, Barrett and Sims began the second quarter for the Knicks. This group used turnovers and great defense to retake the lead at 33-32 with eight minutes left in the second. Both teams would go on and the score would stay close throughout.

It was clear that the Knicks’ defense had improved and had more energy, but they were careless on offense, leading to easy Jazz buckets. A wild, frenetic finish in the last minute, capped off with a three-pointer from Brunson at the buzzer, helped the Knicks take a 61-58 lead at the half.

The Knicks allowed 47 percent to shoot from Utah, but it was offset by New York shooting 58 percent in the second. And it was a balanced effort from the Knicks. Brunson led the Knicks with 13 points, but Randle (11) and Barrett (10) also went into halftime with double-digit points. Hartenstein and Sims made their third foul in the second quarter, so Thibodeau had to go small in the final minutes with Randle and Toppin on the floor.

– The starting five were on the floor to start the third quarter. After getting on the line just seven times in the first half, Barrett got to the free throw line early and often in the third half, but went only 4-for-8.

Utah Walker Kesler was a threat to the Knicks. He got easy dunks and came down with offensive rebounds, taking advantage of his size against Sims. Despite the offensive struggles (only 35 percent shot), the Knicks entered the fourth quarter trailing 85-83 thanks to Jazz’s defense and turnover.

– Rose, Sims, Quickley, Barrett and Toppin were on the ground to start fourth. The Knicks went out on an 11-2 run to retake the lead, eight points off Quickley. New York kicked the metal and opened up a 10-point lead with six minutes remaining, the biggest in the game for the Knicks.

Brunson took over the game and made six consecutive runs for the Knicks to give New York a 14-point lead. He finished with 12 points in the last frame. However, the Jazz would not go quietly. Utah would cut the Knicks lead to six points with two and a half minutes left to play. But free throws and defensive positions added ice, and the Knicks won in Utah 118-111. The Knicks handed the Jazz their first loss at home.

Six Knicks scored in double figures. Brunson led the team with 25 points and eight assists. Barrett, who was under the weather, had 18 points as Randle (15), Reddish (19), Quickley (13) and Sims (11) rounded out the score.

it should be noted that Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes did not play in this game, as Thibodeau went on a nine-man rotation.

Highlights

What’s next

The Knicks continue their west coast journey when they travel to Denver at 10 p.m. Wednesday to take on the Nuggets

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