Coming into Wednesday night's game against the New York Knicks, the Utah Jazz had lost 3 straight, and 5 of their last 6. The Knicks had won 4 of their last 6 and 8 of their last 12.
It looked like another tough night for the Jazz early on as rookie Keyonte George went down with an ankle injury 4 minutes into the game and did not return. It seemed to deflate the Jazz early, as the Knicks took a 31-22 lead by the end of the first quarter.
But in the second quarter, the Jazz came alive, as Lauri Markkanen scored 10 points and the Knicks went cold, not scoring a point for nearly 5 minutes. The Jazz ended up outscoring the Knicks 30-19 in the period and took a 52-51 halftime lead.
In the 3rd quarter, the Jazz and Knicks dueled and it stayed close, until the buzzer when Lauri Markkanen was fouled and made 3 free throws to give the Utah Jazz a 5-point lead heading into the 4th quarter.
In the 4th, it looked like the Jazz would run away with the game, as they opened a 17 point lead. But the Knicks weren't done - they went on a 27-15 run to make it close, but the Jazz were able to hold in in the end and win the game 117-113.
Collin Sexton had 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists, and showed great effort most of the night. He made a big impact with his effort and the Knicks did not have an answer for him.
Lauri Markkanen returned from injury and had 23 points and 8 rebounds in 25 minutes in his first action in 3 weeks.
Talen Horton-Tucker played a great game, with 15 points on 50% shooting from the field, along with 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Walker Kessler returned to the lineup, and had 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 23 minutes off the bench.
Taylor Hendricks may not have a great stat line, but he gave great effort and created issues for the Knicks throughout his time on the floor, getting in the passing lanes and intimidating shots near the rim. He had a +25 rating (+/-) during his 20 minutes on the floor.
The absence of Jordan Clarkson didn't seem to bother the Jazz, as they passed the ball well and most of their baskets were assisted. Kelly Olynyk came tantalizingly close to the first Jazz triple-double in over a decade, with 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.
The Utah Jazz are now heading to Portland for a matchup on Thursday with the Trail Blazers, which starts a stretch of 7 of their next 8 games on the road. The Jazz will need to have more games like Wednesday to turn things around and improve on their 8-16 record.