[Video] Melo’s 30 pts, 9 asts Lead Knicks to OT Win Over Jazz



For the second straight game, the Knicks went into overtime, executed better, and defeated a scrappy foe. Last night it was the Utah Jazz, lead by Gordon Hayward’s 27 points and Rodney Hood’s 27 points, that refused to go away until New York edged the OT scoring battle 19-12 to pull out a 118-111 victory.

Yes, New York made it harder than necessary. But these were the type of games we lost regularly last year. We’re now seeing a poise and clutch factor that will be essential to our playoff hopes.

2ND QUARTER DROUGHT AND PLAYING FROM BEHIND: New York went over five minutes in the second without scoring a single point, allowing the Jazz to put together a 13-0 run and go into halftime with a 48-37 lead. Until late in the fourth, the Knicks were playing catch up and struggling to contain the Jazz’s outside shooting (44% from three-point range).

MELO LEADS THE CHARGE: Our leader scored 22 of his game-high 30 points in the second half. Melo did most of his damage in the paint, including several late dunks and nifty passes (9 assists) to keep other guys involved. He hit Williams (18 points), Afflalo (14 points) and Galloway (9 points) during crucial fourth quarter possessions for three-pointers.

And remember Melo did this in his second game back from an ankle sprain and just one game removed from logging 49 minutes in double OT against the Sixers.


ROBIN LOPEZ OWNS THE PAINT: Rolo delivered a marvelous stat line of 22 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. He battled tooth n’ nail the entire night and made sure driving guards got nothing easy at the rim.

PORZINGIS’ LEARNING CURVE: Our star rookie was had to sit in overtime after fouling out via a bonehead foul on Gordon Hayward’s three point attempt. The foul was especially costly as it came with 9 seconds left and New York leading 99-96. Hayward sunk his free throws and the Knicks had to end matters in overtime.

“There were a couple of unnecessary fouls for me that I can avoid and I’ve got to learn from those,” Porzingis told ESPN. “I’ve got to learn from my mistakes. It’s frustrating to sit on the bench and in overtime.”


BACK AT .500, BUT FOR HOW LONG?: The Knicks sit at 22-22 and just a half game behind Boston for the final playoff spot. Should New York put together a win streak, jumping as high as fifth isn’t impossible with Indiana holding just a two-game lead.

But let’s temper excitement. In recent weeks, the Knicks have gone on losing streaks every time they’ve hit .500. Getting over the hump won’t be easy as the Clippers come to town on Friday.


Published by

Ismael AbduSalaam

Ismael AbduSalaam is an Atlanta-based writer specializing in music, sports and film journalism. He is the creator of the sports and entertainment site BeatsBoxingMayhem.com. He can be reached at @Ismael_BBM_NYK.

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