Hayward scores 24 as Jazz rout Knicks 106-85
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gordon Hayward wondered how his Utah Jazz would respond to a frustrating loss in Sacramento with a quick turnaround for the second night of a back-to-back against the New York Knicks.
Hayward set the tone himself and scored 24 points as the Jazz bullied the Knicks from start to finish in a 106-85 victory Wednesday night.
“It’s one of the toughest parts of the NBA, having games like that back-to-back,” Hayward said. “It’s a mental thing more than anything and making sure you’re focused and moving on to the next game. We talked about it as a team before tonight, coming out with energy and playing with force.
“We did that and were able to respond really well.”
Hayward was aggressive from the opening tip and shot 9 for 14 from the field, including four 3-pointers, to go along with four rebounds and five assists.
The Jazz (10-10) led 70-37 early in the third quarter for their largest lead in any game this season.
Hayward and Derrick Favors combined to score 15 of Utah’s first 18 points as the Jazz sprinted out to an 18-4 lead. The game was never competitive afterward.
Favors finished with 20 and eight rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony never found a groove, scoring 12 points on 3-for-11 shooting. He didn’t make his first field goal until 6:33 remained in the second quarter. Jose Calderon added nine.
The 21-point loss is the worst of the season for New York.
The Knicks (10-13) made a small run in the third quarter and cut the lead below 20 points, but consecutive alley-oops to Jeff Withey and Trevor Booker early in the fourth pushed the lead back to 28.
The Jazz improved to 3-1 on the second night of back-to-back games.
“We know it’s a long season ... and you’re going to have some games you’re not performing the way we know we can perform,” Trey Burke said. “Last we felt like we played (poorly), but we were still in the game at the end. Tonight we wanted to come out with energy from the start.”
Knicks: Guard Langston Galloway celebrated his 24th birthday. ... New York was outscored 42-28 in the paint. ... The Knicks’ lone lead came at 2-0. ... It was the opener of a three-game road trip.
Jazz: Rookie Trey Lyles started his third consecutive game. He had a career-high 10 rebounds. ... Burke had 15 points and five assists. ... Rodney Hood hit just 2 of 7 shots. He was ejected late after shouldering Sasha Vujacic on a breakaway layup. ... Hall of Fame Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was hired on Dec. 9, 1988.
SHARING IS CARING
The Jazz had 17 first-half assists. They had fewer than 17 in seven entire games this season. Utah finished with 26, the second-most this season.
The Jazz have struggled defensively since center Rudy Gobert went down with a knee injury. There were concerns about the Knicks with their two starting 7-footers after the Jazz allowed 58 points in the paint to the Kings on Tuesday. However, the Knicks’ 35 points were the second-fewest the Jazz have allowed in the first half and the third fewest in any half this season.
Coach Derek Fisher said the Knicks will talk about changing the starting lineup. The unit — Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo and Calderon — scored a combined 31 points against the Jazz. “I didn’t see anything from those guys that started the game,” Fisher said. “This is three nights in a row for that group and we will have to consider if that can stay the same at the moment.”
Jazz coach Quin Snyder was asked what needs to happen to get on win streak. They haven’t won three in a row this season.
“You cannot have injuries,” Snyder said. “You cannot play two of the best teams in the league (Thunder and Spurs) in four days. That might help. Outside of that, that’s what we’ve got. I don’t really know what to say.
“As long as we’re tracking in the right direction, I’m going to try not to be fixated on our record.”
Knicks: Visit Sacramento on Thursday.
Utah: Host Oklahoma City on Friday.