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(Saturday, March 9th)
Final Score: New York 113, Utah 84
New York, NY (Sports Network) - J.R. Smith had 24 points on an efficient 10- for-18 shooting and without their two star players, the New York Knicks used a balanced attack to rout the Utah Jazz, 113-84, on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Just prior to the contest, the Knicks announced Carmelo Anthony would miss a third straight game with a knee injury and had even more disconcerting news regarding forward Amar'e Stoudemire.
After complaining of sore knees earlier on Saturday, an MRI confirmed that Stoudemire will be forced to undergo another knee debridement procedure, this time on his right knee. He had the same operation on his left knee back in October and is expected to miss about six weeks.
The rest of the Knicks, however, came out resilient despite the dejecting news as Steve Novak buried five 3-pointers to score 20 points. Raymond Felton added 15 and Iman Shumpert and Kenyon Martin each scored 10 for New York, which shot 50.7 percent for the game.
"We wanted to step up for our teammate, absolutely," said New York's Tyson Chandler, who contributed six points and nine rebounds.
The Jazz fell for the fourth straight contest and were without Paul Millsap, who was ruled out just prior to the contest with knee inflammation. Alec Burks scored a team-high 14 points and Gordon Hayward followed with 13.
Without its stars, New York relied on effective ball movement and it manifested productive results, as the Knicks had 13 assists on 21 made field goals by halftime to create a 55-38 lead.
"It seems like once they woke up, everything started falling for them," Utah's Marvin Williams said. "They were really aggressive and got to the free throw line."
Hayward's triple at the end of the first brought the Jazz within, 25-21, heading into the second, but a 3-point brigade from Novak put the Knicks in complete control.
The 3-point specialist canned three from long distance during an 18-2 surge for New York, putting the hosts ahead 48-31 with just under 2 1/2 minutes left in the period.
As the Knicks continued to pour it on in the third, their advantage swelled to 75-45 following three baskets from Smith and a pair of free throws from Shumpert. Utah managed just seven points through the first seven-plus minutes of the quarter and trailed 78-59 going into the fourth.
New York held a comfortable lead the entire final frame and knocked down six 3-pointers in the stanza, with Smith accounting for three. Chris Copeland then drilled one from beyond the arc and then added a three-point play to increase the Knicks' lead to 32, their largest of the game.
The Jazz shot just 38.5 percent (30-of-78) for the game ... Copeland, who played for only the second time in 14 games, scored 12 points in just over seven minutes of play ... New York was 24-for-30 from the free throw line ... Utah had 20 turnovers, which the Knicks converted into 30 points.
03/10 03:00:05 ET