SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Emmanuel Mudiay scored a season-high 20 points against his former team, and Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 16 rebounds to power the Utah Jazz to a 128-104 win over the short-handed New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
Mudiay, who played for the Knicks last season before signing with the Jazz in the summer, made 8 of 12 shots and added four assists.
Bojan Bogdanovic also scored 20 points and Donovan Mitchell had 16 in limited minutes for Utah, which has won seven straight and 12 of 13.
Frank Ntilikina had 16 points in 19 minutes and Bobby Portis added 13 points and 13 rebounds for New York.
The Jazz are making the most of a soft stretch of the schedule where most opponents are under .500, but none have been quite as hapless as the current Knicks.
Portis was fined $25,000 by the NBA earlier Wednesday for recklessly making contact above the shoulders of an airborne shooter in the Knicks’ 117-87 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
He started against Utah as leading scorer Julius Randle missed the game for personal reasons and, again, was whistled for a flagrant foul. This time it was ruled a Flagrant Foul 1 as he whacked Bogdanovic across the forehead on his way to the basket.
Marcus Morris was out with a sore neck and Dennis Smith Jr. sat with an oblique strain, decimating the Knick bench.
On a back-to-back and last game of a four-game road trip — all losses — the Knicks looked tired and outmatched
Behind Gobert’s 14 points and nine rebounds in the first half, the Jazz sprinted to a 72-53 at the break and were never challenged the rest of the way.
Since interim coach Mike Miller implemented more spacing and a quicker pace, the Knicks are scoring efficiently, even scoring 132 in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on this trip and 143 against the Atlanta Hawks three weeks ago.
However, there are glaring problems on the defensive side as the Jazz shredded the step-slow Knicks with a constant series of screens and ball movement.
New York is 0-19 when it is outrebounded as Utah had 50 to the Knicks’ 41 boards. The Knicks only attempted 11 free throws but made all of them. Elfrid Payton scored nine of his 13 points in the first quarter.
The Knicks host New Orleans on Friday night.
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