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Suns Preseason Final Score: Ugly

The Utah Jazz made the Phoenix Suns look bad on Monday night, winning 120-102

NBA: Preseason-Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There is a huge difference between the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz. One is a highly functioning basketball team. The other is not. Guess who is who.

The Jazz just simply undressed the Suns on both ends of the court, with the Suns only winning the turnover and rebounding battles. And by winning I mean, not winning.

With 25 turnovers by midway through the third quarter, the Suns simply weren’t taking enough shots for the Jazz to rebound. So there’s that.

The Jazz lead was almost 30 in the second quarter, and they cruised to the win over the indecisive Suns.

The Suns most consistent player all night was Alex Len, who appears to have a new confidence this season. He seems to have passed off his indecisiveness to Dragan Bender. Maybe in a ceremony of some sort. Len finished with 18 points (7-10 shooting) and grabbed 6 rebounds and had 2 blocks.

Mike James had a high energy final quarter and a half, pumping in 10 points and dishing two pretty assists.

Josh Jackson had 14 points and 4 rebounds. Devin Booker had 19 points on 12 shots.

Final score: Utah 120. Suns 102.

First half

After an opening possession turnover, the Suns had a nice sequence of passing from Bledsoe to Chriss back to Bledsoe to a diving Len for the jam.

Ricky Rubio came out firing, making his first four shots and from a range of distances, for all 9 of Utah’s first points. He was ON FIRE! Let’s see if it lasts.

Alex Len was active, his mishandled a pair of inbound passes in the open minutes, both resulting in turnovers for scores.

The Jazz just had a lot more focus and better execution that the Suns in the opening minutes, taking a 16-8 lead on a Joe Ingles three from the corner.

Tyson Chandler came in at the 5:04 mark to relieve Len and immediately grabbed a couple of hustle boards.

Dragan Bender was a mess, passing up shots, making bad and/or tentative passes. Had turnovers on consecutive possessions.

The Suns just didn’t have anything going on either end of the court, in any phase of offense or defense. They had 9 turnovers in the first 9 minutes of the game. Ugh. Maybe they all wanted to watch the D’backs game too.

Utah took a 23-11 lead before Booker sat with 0 points and 0 assists. Eric Bledsoe only had 1 point and 3 assists by this time.

Utah shot 60% in the first quarter to take a 29-17 lead on the Suns. Booker was scoreless.

The Utah lead became 42-20 early in the second.

Ricky Rubio with 13 points and 0 assists. As expected.

Donovan Mitchell is the real deal. He’s got very tall (6’3” is short for a SG), but he has long arms and uses his strong body to create separation to get off the shot. He had 10 points and 2 assists and a steal in 10 minutes.

Tyson Chandler got himself ejected by completely blowing up Raul Neto on a screen - one play after Neto tried to run him over fighting through a screen. Apparently, Neto had hit Chandler “low” the play before, and when Chandler saw Neto coming again he just laid him out. Bad.

Nothing was working for the Suns.

The Utah lead got up 55-30 and frankly it looked worse than the score. And then the Suns could not secure a rebound on a airball, which turned into a wide open Rodney Hood three pointer.

When it was 65-37, a check of the box score says that Ricky Rubio is 8/9 for 20 points. And 0 assists. yeah.

65-41 at half.

Chriss with 12 points and 2 rebounds. Josh Jackson with 10 points and 2 rebounds. and 9 turnovers between them. Eric Bledsoe with 3 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Booker with 6 points and 2 assists. That’s it folks.

Second half

Things didn’t get any better in the second half, even though Utah went to an all bench lineup while the Suns brought back their starters.

Ugh. This doesn’t even look like an NBA team. And I’m talking about the Suns, in case you were wondering.

No execution. And frankly, no interest on the players’ faces. Not sure what’s going on here. They just aren’t playing with any emotion or control.

When Mike James entered the game late in the third, he clearly had more energy than anyone on the Suns had shown all night. Alex Len has been active, but James looked positively spry compared to everyone else.

Finally, the Jazz started looking scrappier (uglier) playing third third string type guys, and the Suns cut the Jazz lead to 16 at the end of the third.

86-70 Jazz, end of three.

Booker now up to 17 points (to lead the team) and 3 assists. Suns at 28 turnovers.

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