Blog: Jazz Beat Knicks As Markkanen Returns

Dec 13, 2023, 9:41 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm


Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) dunks (Courtesy of Deseret News)

(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz downed the New York Knicks 117-113 in Lauri Markkanen’s return to the lineup.

Markkanen scored 23 for the Jazz in his return despite a playing time restriction of 25 minutes due to his strained hamstring.

Collin Sexton led the Jazz with 26 points while Julius Randle led the Knicks with 32.

First Quarter

Keyonte George suffered a left foot in the first and had to leave the game after trying to walk it off. The rookie has had ankle injuries dating back to last season at Baylor when he got hurt in late February in a game against Texas, and reinjured his ankle during the Las Vegas Summer League.

Though George was ruled out for the remainder of the game, it should come as a relief that it’s his left foot, and not the same right ankle which has given him trouble before.

The game was tied at 7-7 when George subbed out, and the Knicks closed the quarter on a 24-15 run.

After one the Knicks led the Jazz 31-24.

Second Quarter

Lauri Markkanen opened the quarter knocking down back-to-back threes as the Jazz closed the Knicks lead to three at 33-30.

Taylor Hendricks continued to show growth, wisely attacking a Knicks closeout for an easy dunk. Then on the next possession, he blocked an RJ Barrett dunk, and snared an offensive rebound, leading to a Collin Sexton three which trimmed the deficit to two at 37-35.

The Jazz held the Knicks to six points through the first 7:30 of the third quarter, building a 43-37 lead.

At the half, the Jazz led the Knicks 52-50.

Third Quarter

The Knicks were unable to find a rhythm from the three-point through the first three quarters of the game shooting just 6-26 from downtown.

Threes allowed the Jazz to stay competitive knocking down 13-30 through the first 30 minutes of the game.

After a nearly silent first half, Walker Kessler made a much bigger impact in the third quarter on both ends finishing near the rim, rebounding, and using his size to deter Knicks shooters.

Through three the Jazz led the Knicks 89-84.

Fourth Quarter

The Jazz jumped on the Knicks early in the fourth quarter scoring the first five points to build a 95-84 lead.

After opening the game 1-5 from the floor Talen Horton-Tucker hits his first four shots of the fourth quarter by aggressively attacking the Knicks defense in transition.

The Knicks trimmed the Jazz lead to just five with 1:55 left in the fourth on a Donte DiVincenzo three.

New York had two chances to tie the game in the final 30 seconds but both Quentin Grimes and Jalen Brunson missed decent looks from three.

The Jazz beat the Knicks 117-113.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Blog: Jazz Beat Knicks As Markkanen Returns