Mitchell scores 30, Jazz pound Knicks 137-116
Mitchell scored 30 points, Gobert made all seven shots and added 18, and the Jazz romped to their fifth straight lopsided victory by beating the Knicks 137-116 on Wednesday night.
“We’re doing a lot of things great on offense and defense,” Mitchell said.
Ingles made six 3-pointers and also scored 18, while Mitchell made five 3-pointers as the Jazz finished 20 of 42 (48 percent) from behind the arc, tying a franchise record for makes.
The Jazz, who led by as much as 37, started their winning streak with a 17-point win over Phoenix, then beat Minnesota by 20, Brooklyn by 16 and Washington by 21.
“We’re trying to get better each game as this kind of finishes off here,” Ingles said, “and if that’s winning by 15, 20 or 1, or 40, whatever it is, we’re just trying to get better with each game and I think we’ve been doing that.”
That was a rather soft portion of their schedule and it got even softer with a game against the NBA-worst Knicks, who the Jazz had already clobbered 129-97 at home on Dec. 29. Utah trailed for less than a minute of this one and was shooting 63 percent through three quarters, a number that dropped to 56.5 by the finish only because the best players were on the bench for most of the fourth quarter.
“We just got punched,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “After we got punched, it was like, what victory can I find? Let’s win the second half and we did accomplish that, which I was happy with. But, we took a real serious right hand and never recovered.”
Mitchell, a native of Elmsford, New York, put on a good show for his home fans, shooting 12 of 20 and throwing down one particularly sharp dunk in the first half.
Hezonja’s 3-pointer gave the Knicks a 3-2 lead, but Utah answered with nine straight points and never trailed again. The Jazz led 39-25 after one, shooting 65 percent, pushed it to 50-29 on Ingles’ 3-pointer in the second, and the lead stayed in the 20s for the rest of the half.
“They just swung the ball around and were hitting shots,” Knicks center Mitchell Robinson said. “We were close enough to get into their airspace, but they still put them up and they made them. You’ve got to give them their props. They can shoot.”
It went past 30 for the first time when Gobert’s dunk made it 81-50 early in the third, and peaked at 100-63 on Mitchell’s 3-pointer midway through the period.
Jazz: The 39 points were one shy of their highest this season in a first quarter, which they did against Miami on Dec. 12. … Jae Crowder scored 15 points.
Knicks: The Knicks were also without reserve guards Allonzo Trier (strained left calf) and Kadeem Allen (ill). Though he said Smith was day-to-day, Fizdale indicated his absence could last at least one more game, saying Smith would probably be evaluated next week.
Robinson blocked a shot in his 29th straight game, breaking Patrick Ewing’s Knicks rookie record.
Frank Ntilikina appears close to returning from a groin injury that has sidelined him since Jan. 28. He practiced with the Knicks’ NBA G League team on Tuesday, and Fizdale said the team’s medical staff said they wanted the second-year guard to get another practice in before deciding if he was ready to return.
GOOD TO BE HOME
After playing seven of their last nine on the road, the Knicks get to settle in New York for a while. They host Denver on Friday, the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, then follow with games next week against Toronto and Miami. They close the homestand against Chicago on April 1.
Jazz: Visit Atlanta on Thursday.
Knicks: Host Denver on Friday.