Knicks Overpower Jazz in 4th. NY 118 Utah 111

The Knicks were the better team in the 4th quarter — with Jalen Brunson leading a Knick domination of the Jazz in Utah, for the 118-111 NY victory.

What a difference a great point guard makes.

With help from his costar Immanuel Quickley.

NY was down 87-83 at the beginning of the quarter in a tightly fought game that Utah had a constant slim advantage in. But Immanuel Quickley hit a layup and then consecutive 3-pointers sandwiching an Obi Toppin 3 and NY was up 5. RJ Barrett joined in with drives to the basket for points or fouls sending him to the line — and sending NY’s lead up to double digits.

And Brunson took over from there — hitting big shot after big shot down the stretch and giving the Knicks total confidence as Utah tried to comeback on their LOUD homecourt.

NY improves to 7-7. Utah falls to 10-6.

Utah has been a team off to a great start seemingly with mirrors. They are in rebuilding mode after trading Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert last summer, causing coach Quinn Snyder to quit. They are led by Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, Jordan Clarkson, Michael Conley, and Collin Sexton — who has been coming off the bench.

1. Quickley on Fire in 4th

Immanuel Quickley’s layup and back-to-back 3’s at the beginning of the 4th were Huge for NY as they propelled the Knicks into the lead and gave them momentum. Quickley finished 5-10 from the floor and 3-6 from 3 for 13 points in 26 minutes.

Surprisingly, despite being who Tom Thibodeau says is the best shooter on the team — Quickley has been in a shooting slump so far this season. He raised his 3-pt percentage to only .304 on the season. He’s shooting .450 from 2 for an overall .379 shooting percentage and only .810 from the free throw line (he’s normally knocking on the 90% door).

Quickley’s defense has ratcheted up and was tremendous in this game.

2. Brunson the Difference Maker

Once Quickley, Toppin, and RJ Barrett got the Knicks a 10-pt lead, Jalen Brunson took over — hitting key shot after key shot down the stretch. Utah pulled back to within 6 several times in their LOUD building, but Brunson calmly came down and hit a key bucket to quiet the crowd.

With Brunson at the helm the Knicks seemed to have total confidence on the court that they would win. Brunson took it to Mike Conley, using his strength and size and crafty handle to dominate.

3. Barrett Was Suffering from a Cold

RJ Barrett — we learned during the game — was playing with a bad head cold that may have been the reason why Thibodeau sat him in the 2nd half of the previous game.

Barrett was a big part of the 4th quarter Knick run — taking it to the basket for buckets or fouls, and going to the line. He had a terrible shooting night overall — missed a chippy in the 4th that didn’t roll in on a strong drive to the hoop — but scored on a drive off a Quickley feed the next time down and overall helped the team win.

He finished with horrid 5-18 shooting from the floor and 8-14 from the free throw line, but had a +3. Thibodeau replaced him with Julius Randle with 6:20 minutes left and the Knicks up 101-91, but came back in 2 minutes later for the final 4 minutes — clearly Thibs has confidence in him as a closer.

4. Reddish with Another Great Game

Cam Reddish had another sterling game — tremendous Defense — picking up steals in the passing lane and shooting well from the floor: 7-13 from the floor (2-6 from 3) and 3-3 from the line for 19 points.

Icing on the cake with Reddish is that he is an excellent free throw shooter. He was fouled and sent to the line with NY up 6 and 1:53 left, and calmly made both free throws nothing-but-net.

RJ Barrett set up Cam Reddish for an alley opp dunk with 32 seconds left to just about seal the Knick win, giving them a 117-108 NY lead. (Although Lauri Markkanen fired back 3 seconds later with a 3 to make it 117-111, causing RJ Barrett to finish it with a free throw.)

5. Jericho Beast-ed

Another terrific development is the continued big-time play of Jericho Sims — who beasted again in this game. Sims had 11 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes as the backup center to Isaiah Hartenstein — who is starting while Mitchell Robinson is out with the bruised ankle.

6. Toppin Terrific. Randle Good.

Obi Toppin‘s big 3 at the start of the 4th was just part of a 3-4 shooting night — all from 3 — for 9 points, 6 rebounds, and a +23 in 18 minutes.

Julius Randle played well — 15 points on 5-11 shooting (2-6 from 3, 3-3 in free throws) and 5 rebounds in 31 minutes.

Derrick Rose played well — 6 points in 14 minutes off the bench.

The Boxscore

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