Mitchell scores 30, Jazz pound Knicks 137-116

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Mitchell scores 30, Jazz pound Knicks 137-116
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points, Rudy Gobert made all seven shots and added 18 points, and the Utah Jazz romped to their fifth straight lopsided victory by beating the New York Knicks 137-116 on Wednesday night.

Joe Ingles made six 3-pointers and also scored 18, while Mitchell made five 3-pointers as the Jazz finished 20 of 42 (48 percent) from behind the arc.

The Jazz led by as much as 37 in a game that was even easier than their recent easy victories. They started their winning streak with a 17-point win over Phoenix, then beat Minnesota by 20, Brooklyn by 16 and Washington by 21.

That was a rather soft portion of their schedule and it got even softer with a game against the NBA-worst Knicks, who the Jazz had already clobbered 129-97 at home on Dec. 29. Utah trailed for less than a minute of this one and was shooting 63 percent through three quarters, a number that dropped to 56.5 by the finish only because the best players were on the bench for most of the fourth quarter.

Kevin Knox scored 27 points and Mario Hezonja had 23 for the Knicks, who lost for the 10th time in 11 games in the opener of a six-game homestand that keeps them home into early next month.

The Knicks played without starters Dennis Smith Jr. (back) and Noah Vonleh (right ankle) along with a couple backcourt reserves.

Mitchell, a native of Elmsford, New York, put on a good show for his home fans, shooting 12 of 20 and throwing down one particularly sharp dunk in the first half.

Hezonja’s 3-pointer gave the Knicks a 3-2 lead, but Utah answered with nine straight points and never trailed again. The Jazz led 39-25 after one, shooting 65 percent, pushed it to 50-29 on Ingles’ 3-pointer in the second, and the lead stayed in the 20s for the rest of the half.

It went past 30 for the first time when Gobert’s dunk made it 81-50 early in the third, and peaked at 100-63 on Mitchell’s 3-pointer midway through the period.

TIP-INS

Jazz: The 39 points were one shy of their highest this season in a first quarter, which they did against Miami on Dec. 12. … Jae Crowder scored 15 points.

Knicks: The Knicks were also without reserve guards Allonzo Trier (strained left calf) and Kadeem Allen (ill). Though he said Smith was day-to-day, coach David Fizdale indicated his absence could last at least one more game, saying Smith would probably be evaluated next week.

BACK SOON?

Frank Ntilikina appears close to returning from a groin injury that has sidelined him since Jan. 28. He practiced with the Knicks’ NBA G League team on Tuesday, and Fizdale said the team’s medical staff said they wanted the second-year guard to get another practice in before deciding if he was ready to return.

GOOD TO BE HOME

After playing seven of their last nine on the road, the Knicks get to settle in New York for a while. They host Denver on Friday, the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, then follow with games next week against Toronto and Miami. They close the homestand against Chicago on April 1.

UP NEXT

Jazz: Visit Atlanta on Thursday.

Knicks: Host Denver on Friday.

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