Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
The Suns dug themselves another big hole against the Jazz tonight, but this time they ran out of gas before they could complete the come-back.
This was an ugly, ugly game. The Suns' offense continues to be dysfunctional, mostly because their complete lack of an ability to get easy shots.It is really tough to watch this team play right now.
The Suns continued their slow start trend and found themselves down 29-19 after the first quarter. Big Al Jefferson set the tone for the evening by scoring 10 of his game-high 27 in the first 12 minutes, while the Suns as a team only shot 38 percent.
Jared Dudley, Sebastian Telfair and Luis Scola got it going in the second quarter and scored 19 of the Suns 24 points, and the defense picked it up and held the Jazz to 21 points. At the break the Suns had shave the lead down to just seven and were looking like they were back in the game.
Then the third quarter happened. The Suns have struggled mightily in nearly every third quarter this season and tonight was no different. The Suns were outscored 27-18 in the period and played some of the worst offense I've seen this year. Nearly every single shot taken was outside of 15 feet, and they shots they did get in the paint were either blocked or just plain missed. Phoenix shot just 6-22 from the field. The lead grew as big as 22 for the Jazz.
But if there's one thing that I really like about this Suns squad, it is that they refuse to give up. No matter how poorly they play in the first three quarters, they always give it their all in the fourth. The Suns came out and played their butts off defensively, and cut the lead to just five points at 79-74 after an 11-2 run to start the period. Unfortunately, it was too little and too late as the Suns ran out of gas and the shots stopped falling. Utah closed out the game on a 15-7 run to seal their victory.
- The Goran-Bassy backourt was used in both halves by Alvin Gentry and produced pretty good results; let's hope Gentry keeps using it
- Bassy didn't shoot particularly well, but he was one of the only guys who was able to make something happen offensively, and you know you're going to get plenty of ball pressure with speedy little guy. Telfair finished with 9 points and 4 assists and led the Suns in +/- with a +12.
- The designated chuckers combined to go 4-18 for just 11 points and a whole lot of long jumpers. You know who I'm talking about
- Luis Scola wasn't great, but for stretches of that game he was the only thing going and had to shoot no matter what. He finished 7-19 from the field, but did record a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
- Jared Dudley finally got himself going. He was 2-3 from deep, 7-10 overall and even got his first dunk on his way to 16 points.
- Marcin Gortat must have been having flashbacks to last year's final game against the Jazz where he seemingly got swatted every time he attempted a shot. Gortat got blocked three times early in the game and didn't make a single shot. With him struggling so much, Gentry went small late in the game with Scola at the five.
- Remember, this was the second night of a back-to-back after an incredibly draining game against Cleveland. Dragic in particular had to play nearly 40 minutes, and it's tough for anyone to be brilliant for that long on back-to-back nights.