Utah Jazz

Jazz Hold off Knicks; Favors Steps Up in Hayward’s Absence

Lauren Spencer’s recap of the Jazz’ win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday evening.

The Utah Jazz rung in a win over the depleted Knicks who have struggled to win their last 5 games. The Jazz played without their forward Gordon Hayward, who was out due to a lower back strain. The team played out of character compared to recent performances; paid less attention to detail on the court, lacked communication, missed plays and deviated from various game plans. 

We didn’t come out at half time ready to go at all. We didn’t come out at the start of the game ready to go. It didn’t matter who was starting, this is what we talk about as far as a team learning. Tonight, that’s what that was,” said Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. 

Despite the moments that weren’t favorable for the Jazz, there were performances to be praised after the game. Rodney Hood played 24 minutes and was the second leading scorer with 17 points, after Derrick Favors who had 29 points. Dante Exum also played 36 minutes, and contributed well on offense with 4 assists and 8 points. 

We knew the Knicks were a good team, but with Gordon out we just needed guys to step up. Rod [Rodney Hood] came in and stepped up. Dante [Exum] did his thing and everybody stepped up and played their part,” said Favors. 

As for improvements, the team does not lack commitment or energy, but needs to focus and maintain confidence. Recognizing that they didn’t play as well in this game compared to previous games, win or lose, the team understands what to expect, and wants to improve on those details. 

I think we have been pretty good defensively, but I think it’s just sticking to our team goals and knowing what we want to do as a team and where we want to go. I think tonight wasn’t a good example of what we have done before. We just need to shake this off and get back to practice tomorrow and get ready for Houston,” said Jazz guard Dante Exum. 

“The thing about our team lately, is we have been an intelligent young team. For being really young, we’ve got a group of guys that is really working at understanding what we want, what I want, and how to play together, but that takes concentration,” said Snyder. 

The Jazz (27-36) host their next opponent, the Houston Rockets (43-20) Thursday, March 12, 7:00PM at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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