The Knicks learned before the game that they would be without Amar'e Stoudemire for the next six weeks due to a bad knee, and Carmelo Anthony was forced to sit out with a sore knee of his own. That didn't stop Mike Woodson's club from tearing into the Jazz.
J.R. Smith led all scorers with 24 points and Steve Novak dropped 20 as New York built a big first half lead and never looked back.
The Knicks finished with six scorers in double-figures overall.
Alec Burks led Utah in scoring with 14.
For the Jazz, it was their fourth straight loss, and it drops them into a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Now let's examine just how New York was able to win this contest so easily.
1. Swarming defense
From the get-go, the Knicks' defense was outstanding. In the first quarter, they forced the Jazz into several bad shots late in the shot clock, playing great D for all 24 seconds. Also, whenever Al Jefferson received the ball in the post, New York attacked, double-teaming him and also cutting off his passing lanes most of the time.
The result was the Knicks holding Utah to 39 percent shooting.
2. Aggressiveness on offense
New York took 30 free throws in this one, exhibiting how they were in attack mode all night. Even Novak was taking defenders off the dribble and finishing, and Raymond Felton had a rather easy time of getting into the lane early on.
Kenyon Martin was also a factor, throwing down several dunks and finishing with 10 points off 4-of-6 shooting.
Great ball movement and the usual limited turnovers led to an outstanding offensive performance from the Knicks.
Woodson used 12 players tonight, and Marcus Camby was the only one who did not score.
With Anthony and Stoudemire both out tonight, it was imperative for the reserves to step up, and they did just that. It will continue to be important the rest of the way, as well. With Amar'e out for an extended period of time, New York is missing a crucial bench scorer. That just puts an even bigger onus on guys like Smith and Novak to come in and produce.
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