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Knicks 112, Jazz 100: Scenes from Austin Rivers, Clutch King of MSG

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Get dem buckets, Austin.

NBA: Utah Jazz at New York Knicks Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

We fans came into this season hoping to see our youngsters play heavy minutes. But sometimes the young guns misfire, and a head coach has to call in the wily vets — and Mitchell Robinson — to get things done. That’s what Tom Thibodeau did on Wednesday night, and it paid off handsomely in a thrilling 112-100 win over the Utah Jazz. RJ Barrett struggled throughout, and Immanuel Quickley only played a few first-half minutes, but the rest of the Knicks — rolling a 7-man rotation, mind you — got the job done.

The Jazz looked likely to thoroughly outclass our beloved ‘Bockers in the opening half, but a late surge by the Knicks kept the deficit at 12. That Jazz lead wouldn’t last the third quarter, as Julius Randle, who struggled earlier in the evening, came out with that fire and desire, as Clyde would say.

Randle dropped 14 of his game-high 30 points in the period as the Knicks rallied. He finished with 16 rebounds and 7 assists...in other words, a typical night for Randle these days. What a special player he’s becoming.

But every good team needs a closer. The Jazz have All-Star Donovan Mitchell, and the Knicks have...Austin Rivers.

Advantage: Knicks.

Rivers scored 14 points in a row, including four triples, in a mind-blowing display for late-game shot-making.

If there had been fans at MSG, they would have stormed the court and carried Rivers off on their shoulders.

Let’s not forget the contributions of Mitchell Robinson. The big boy from Louisiana played an astounding 41 minutes against the menacing Rudy Gobert, with backup Nerlens Noel out with an injury, and he delivered 9 points, 13 boards, 3 steals, 3 blocks and some truly special defense.

What a friggin’ game! Alex will have the recap.