Lauri Markkanen Returns For All-Star Duel With Knicks Julius Randle

Dec 13, 2023, 7:55 PM

Utah Jazz Lauri Markkanen New York Knicks dunk...

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) reacts after a basket against the Sacramento Kings in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. The Kings won 130-114. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Photo courtesy of Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – After missing nearly a month with a hamstring injury, Lauri Markkanen returned to the lineup on Wednesday against the New York Knicks.

In his first nine minutes, Markkanen put up 13 points and a rebound on 5/7 from the floor.

Unfortunately, Jazz fans could not fully enjoy Markkanen’s return as rookie guard Keyonte George injured his left foot just four minutes into the game.

RELATED: Keyonte George Will Not Return Against Knicks With Left Foot Injury

The Utah Jazz later announced that he would not return.

Markkanen still did his best to carry the Jazz on ’80s decade night.

Julius Randle had something to say about that though.

In 12 minutes played, Randle had 14 points, five rebounds, a block, and a steal.

Utah took their first lead with six minutes left until halftime, 38-37.

Lauri Markkanen Returns As Jazz Host Knicks

The Utah Jazz will be without Jordan Clarkson when they host the New York Knicks on ’80s decade night.

On Tuesday the Jazz announced that Clarkson would miss at least the next two weeks with a hamstring strain.

Lauri Markkanen (hamstring) and Walker Kessler (foot) will both suit up against New York. John Collins (illness) is out for the Jazz who haven’t had a fully healthy roster since the opening weeks of the season.

Markkanen has missed the last eight games for the Jazz. The team was 3-5 in his absence.

Clarkson first suffered a thigh bruise in late November, but an MRI after Monday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder revealed a right bicep femoris strain.

The guard has seen a dip in his averages this season scoring 16.6 points per game while shooting just 40 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three.

The Jazz currently own the fourth-worst record in the Western Conference at 7-16 and are 5.5 games back of the 10th and final Play-In Tournament spot.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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