In the first, the Suns turned the ball over three straight times as the Jazz reeled off 8 straight points. But Phoenix turned on the offense with 17-5 run to close the half including 8 by Jared Dudley and Channing Frye. Gortat and Frye combined for 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots while Utah's Jefferson and Milsap combined for 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals.
In the 3rd stanza, the Jazz slowly began to fade. Both Devin Harris and Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin were T'd up while Channing Frye and Jared Dudley began to find their offensive game. The Suns went on a12-4 run to start the quarter. With 5 minutes and change left and the Suns up by 11, Jared Dudley went on a brief tear, hitting 3 3-pointers and 2 free throws. But Jamal Tinsley (formerly of the NBA then the D-Leaague and then the NBA again) hit a near half court 3 to end the quarter. The momentum briefly changed in the early 4th with the Jazz outscoring the Suns 12-2. With 7.21 left Shannon Brown hit a layup then a free throw, but erased the latter with a technical foul. The Suns tightened up defensively allowing the Jazz to get no closer than 5 points for the duration.
NBA Utah Jazz Vs Phoenix Suns Highlights (March 14, 2012) Game Recap (via NBAorbit)
- Channing Frye came up big tonight offensively. This season he has been inconsistent, but the Suns have proven they can win without his shot falling as he has dialed up his defensive efforts. Frye has found a way to stay on the court and help his squad on both ends of the floor. Against the Jazz, Frye did a nice job battling Paul Milsap and logged 4 blocked shots to go with his other strong numbers.
- Jared Dudley stated that he was attempting to let the game come to him. It is clear he means it. Dudley didn't score a point until the waning moments of the 2nd quarter. The Suns have enough offensive weapons to stay in games while Dudley "warms up."
- Grant Hill did what he normally does. Quietly shuts down the opposition's most explosive player while draining mid-range jumpers. Hill finished with 7 boards, 3 assists and a blocked shot to boot. Josh Howard...3-12 and a fat -18.
- And while we're giving shout outs, how about Aaron Nelson and all of his people. Enough said, right? No jinxes.
Don't enjoy this too long. The Suns play the second night of three games in three nights in LA versus the Clippers tonight. THEN...Here is how the schedule plays out :
Not really any gimmes in that group, but then again, no game is a gimme. Eerily, this season is beginning to remind me of the 2010 second half run the Suns went on to close out the season. Note I said beginning. There's a lot of work to be done, but this beats the crap out of sitting around and waiting for the draft.