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Phoenix Suns give Utah Jazz a scare but can’t close, drop 7th straight 107-97

Devin Booker returned from injury to score 28 points; Elfrid Payton notched triple-double

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

Devin Booker had 28 points in his return from injury, Josh Jackson had 22 points off the bench, and Elfrid Payton had the first triple-double by a Sun this season. Still, the Phoenix Suns found themselves on the short end of this game, challenging the Utah Jazz until the final few minutes but ultimately falling 107-97.

Phoenix was down 98-95 after a made 3-pointer by Payton with 2:41 to play, but Utah scored on its next possession. Josh Jackson turned the ball over on the ensuing Phoenix possession, and Jae Crowder scored to push the Jazz lead to 102-95. Two Booker free throws made it 102-97, but a 3-pointer by Donovan Mitchell with the shot clock expiring gave the Jazz a 105-97 lead with 56.2 seconds remaining. Booker missed his rebuttal 3, and that was the ballgame.

Booker provided the offensive boost Phoenix had been missing in his absence, leading all scorers with his 28 points, and Payton had 13 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds in his first game sharing the backcourt with Booker. T.J. Warren was a ghost for most of the night, however, with as many points as fouls (5), leaving Jackson to pick up his slack off the bench. The rookie had 15 points at halftime and finished with 22 points and seven rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting. Alex Len, starting at center for the injured Tyson Chandler, had 14 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, and three steals.

Utah was led by Mitchell. He didn’t go off for 40 points like he did on Feb. 2, but he did have 24 points and seven assists. Ten of Mitchell’s points came in the 4th quarter. He was joined by Gobert’s 14 points and 17 rebounds, and Royce O’Neale’s 19 points.

Phoenix held the Jazz to 42.4-percent shooting from the field and 10 of 34 from 3, but the Jazz owned the glass, outrebounding the Suns 54-41 (14-5 on offense).

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