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Phoenix Suns end 2016 with a 91-86 loss to the Utah Jazz

The loss is their 60th of 2016

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz won the battle of styles, and the Utah Jazz won the game, ultimately knocking off a feisty Phoenix Suns team 91-86.

The Suns led 84-83 with five minutes to play in the 4th quarter after Eric Bledsoe sank a jumper, but Gordon Hayward would tip in an offensive rebound to put Utah ahead 85-84 with 3:49 left. Rudy Gobert, who led the Jazz with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks, stretched that advantage to 89-84 with an easy reverse dunk and layup while the Suns missed their next five shots (with two blocked by Gobert) and committed a 24-second shot clock violation.

A follow jam by Tyson Chandler would slice the deficit to 89-86 with 1:43 to play, but neither team could score after that. Devin Booker had an opportunity to tie the game but missed a long 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left, and the Suns were forced to foul Hayward with three seconds left, with Hayward making both to finish with 18 points and nine rebounds.

Booker started the game hot for a change, scoring 18 points in the 1st quarter on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. He was just 1 of 9 from the field through the next three quarters, though, finishing with 20 points.

That cold shooting stung Phoenix for much of the 2nd quarter, with Leandro Barbosa accounting for all seven of the Suns’ points for the first 7:42 of the period before two 3-pointers each from P.J. Tucker and Dragan Bender put an end to the drought.

Still, the Suns entered halftime down 55-51.

The Jazz played the final three quarters without starting point guard George Hill, who left with a concussion after taking an elbow from Alex Len in the post with 0.6 seconds left in the 1st quarter.

Bledsoe had 19 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists for the game, but only one of those assists came after halftime as Utah got a better handle on Phoenix, holding the Suns to 35 2nd-half points.

T.J. Warren was held scoreless for only the second time this season in his return to the starting lineup.

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