Knicks blow another double-digit lead in gut-wrenching loss to Jazz

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SALT LAKE CITY — Embattled Julius Randle was rolling. Mitchell Robinson was slamming. And the Knicks were winning by 12 after a 24-2 romp late in the third quarter.

But as in Los Angeles, the Knicks blew another double-digit lead and suffered a 113-104 defeat to the powerful Jazz on Monday at Vivint Arena.

Awful offensively in the fourth quarter, the Knicks fell to a season-worst 24-30 and 0-2 on the make-or-break western trip with the trade deadline looming.

They had just 16 points in the fourth before two late meaningless buckets in the final 40 seconds.

The Knicks played just well enough to lose again.

The Jazz, missing center Rudy Gobert and out-for-the-season Joe Ingles, moved to 33-21 as Donovan Mitchell killed his hometown team with 32 points.

Knicks
Julius Randle shoots a jumper for the Knicks in their loss to the Jazz on Monday night.
AP

Randle racked up 30 points, looking to be in All-Star form for three quarters, and Robinson went for 19 points and 21 rebounds. But Randle got quiet late and Robinson didn’t come up big enough, losing a defensive rebound to Donovan Mitchell, who fed it to burly Udoka Azubuike for a pivotal slam dunk.

Robinson proceeded to miss two key free throws with 3:01 left and the Knicks had no firepower down the stretch.

The killer came when Evan Fournier capped a poor outing by bouncing the ball off his foot and Bojan Bogdanovich raced in for a fast-break dunk to make it 102-97 with under two minutes left.

A Randle to RJ Barrett fast break lifted the lead to 82-70 with 3:14 left in the third capping that 24-2 run. Randle rolled a bounce pass to Barrett, who missed a layup but Randle followed with the tap-in with 3:14 left in the third.

But the Jazz closed well and were within 86-82 after three, buoyed by a third-chance tip-in by Jordan Clarkson. It may or may not have been a coincidence that Cam Reddish had checked into the contest just after the 24-2 run and and the Knicks saw their lead disintegrate.

While backup point guard Immanuel Quickley became a train wreck early in the fourth quarter, Mike Conley Jr. drained a 3-pointer to get the Jazz within 86-85 with 10:15 left.

With the Knicks shorthanded, the rarely used Reddish played 15 minutes, scoring six points, shooting 1 of 4 from the field.

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Mitchell Robinson dunks the ball.
AP

The Knicks were missing starting point guard Kemba Walker, who was taking a rest day on the first night of a back-to-back. And they were also minus rookie shooting guard Quentin Grimes (sore knee).

That allowed Alec Burks to slide in as the starter at point guard and moved little-used Reddish into a sold part of the backup unit. Reddish entered in the first quarter and played 7:55 with mixed results despite filling up the box score.

Reddish scored six points — 1 of 3 from the field and making all four free throws. But he was a minus-8 and committed two turnovers, including one in which he had a fast break and the ball was stripped, going off his foot out of bounds.

The Knicks secured an early 21-9 lead but that evaporated when Reddish was on the floor.

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