Knicks vs. Jazz: Jazz try to keep pace with Lakers against the Knicks

USA TODAY Sports

The Jazz hope to inch closer to the eighth seed as they host the New York Knicks, who still don't know if they'll have a healthy Carmelo Anthony.

The Utah Jazz, clinging to their playoff lives, host the New York Knicks Monday night, the same Knicks team that handed the Jazz one of their worst losses of the season just nine days ago in Madison Square Garden. The Jazz are also coming off one of their best wins of the season, a 90-84 win over the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night.

Utah is currently one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for eighth place in the Western Conference and looking to win consecutive games for the first time in a month. The Jazz's schedule only get tougher the rest of the week. This is there final home game before heading out on the road to play the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.

One bright spot for the Jazz has been the improved play of Gordon Hayward. Since the All-Star break, Hayward is averaging 16.4 points per game and shooting 42 percent from three. His rebound and assist number are also up and head coach Tyrone Corbin has moved him back in to the starting line up.

Knicks looking to end four game losing streak

Meanwhile, the New York Knicks haven't won a game on their current five game road trip, their most recent loss coming at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday afternoon. The Knicks have played 2 1/2 of those games without Carmelo Anthony, who went back to New York to have his knee drained after the Nuggets game. Anthony has since returned to the team, but his status for the Utah game is still up in the air. The Knicks are currently in first place in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets.

Matchup of the game

The key to the game will be how the Knicks handle the Jazz's big men. If Anthony doesn't play, that means Tyson Chandler will have to spend time defending Paul Milsap in addition to his normal assignment, Al Jefferson. Jefferson, recovering from an ankle injury, did play in the two team's previous game, scoring just seven points.

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBA TV

Odds: The Jazz opened as 10 point favorites.

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