We just have to keep grinding and we’ll break through at some point. —Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder on his team still being winless on the road
NEW YORK — Holding a one-point edge with 32.5 seconds left in the game, Tim Hardaway Jr. pulled a deep trey from 27 feet over the outstretched arms of Joe Ingles.
“They were playing me for my drive and I saw (Ricky) Rubio camping out, in the back, under the basket, so I know if I were to drive, I didn’t really have anywhere to go,” Hardaway Jr. explained. “So, I knew if I came and faked like I would drive that Ingles would fall back a little bit and force me to make that shot and I just shot it with confidence.”
A game that seemed winnable quickly turned forgettable for the Utah Jazz Wednesday night as they fell to the New York Knicks 106-101.
With celebrities Chris Rock, Evander Holyfield and Cam’ron enjoying courtside seats at Madison Square Garden, the Jazz dropped their fifth consecutive road contest.
Utah is still the league’s only team that has yet to win a game outside of its home arena. Injured big man Rudy Gobert could only watch from his courtside seat in a dapper maroon suit as the team dropped its second game this week.
“I want to play well and eventually we’ll get a road win,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “I don’t know that we’re going to try and play that game, where we’ve got to get on the board.
“Obviously we want to, we’re playing without a few of our better players, but we’ve got some good players that are playing,” he added. “We just have to keep grinding and we’ll break through at some point.”
Through three quarters, Utah led 82-77 while shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc and 92.3 percent from the free throw line but allowed Hardaway Jr. to post 14 of his 26 points in the fourth, while also being outscored 8-2 in the final minute.
Losing out on numerous loose ball possessions also hurt the team down the stretch.
“When we get down in the fourth quarter, having someone to be able to create a shot, that’s something that we’re working on,” Snyder said. “We had a couple times we attacked and didn’t make great decisions at the end, but if we come up with loose balls and can get out in transition, the game doesn’t have to slow down late.”
Rodney Hood caught fire off the bench for the Jazz with 30 points on 10-for-20 shooting. He also drained six of his dozen 3-point attempts. In the third quarter, he racked up 15 points, but that aggressiveness didn’t continue down the stretch.
“We played hard and sometimes it doesn’t equal up to wins, but we can build off this one,” Hood said. “This one kind of hurt a little bit but I feel like this is one of the better games we’ve played in a while as far as defensively, offensively but now we’ve got to put it together for 48 minutes.”
Rookie Donovan Mitchell posted 17 of his 19 points in the first half of his Madison Square Garden debut while Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio both finished with 13 points apiece.
Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis ended with 22 points and eight rebounds.
“We made some adjustments we talked about it at halftime,” Porzingis said. “We knew we had to come out with more energy and hunger. They are a good team. I am glad we were able to turn it up in the second half and win the game.”
The Jazz (6-9) will play at Brooklyn on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. Their next three games will be played on the road.
“We have to get back to the drawing board, play Brooklyn Friday and try to get a win then,” Hood said.