Turnovers and poor three point shooting were the main problems for the Suns tonight. The Suns hit only 17.6% of their three point attempts while the Jazz nailed 39.3% of theirs... and they put up 11 more attempts than the Suns. The Suns coughed up the ball 22 times and were also out rebounded 43-36.
Josh Jackson led the Suns in scoring with 27 points while adding 7 assists. Deandre Ayton had 20 points and 9 rebounds. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 16 points. They were the only Suns to finish in double figures.
The Jazz had seven players finish in double figures, led by Donovan Mitchell with 21. Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Joe Ingles had 15 points and 11 assists.
The Suns’ starting lineup may have not been the youngest ever but it was certainly one of the least experienced. Third year player Dragan Bender - pressed into service as a starter due to injuries - was the most experienced Sun in the starting lineup.
The Suns played them tough through three quarters, momentarily taking the lead in the first quarter and then pulling to within four points late in the third. Their inexperience took a toll as they entered the fourth quarter though and the more experienced Jazz took control and put the game out of reach.
The Jazz win the tip and score quickly but the Suns answer just as fast.
Turnovers by both teams early but they’re piling up for the Suns. They already have 4 in the first 3 minutes. The Jazz are only up 5-3 as they haven’t been able to capitalize on the Suns miscues.
The pace seems slow. The Jazz are up 9-3 as the Suns call time with 8:06 remaining.
Ayton is playing well so far against Gobert. The Suns tie the game at 9... and then take the lead 11-9 after some frantic play. Timeout Jazz with 5:55 to go in the 1st.
Ayton has 8 of the Suns’ 11 points.
The Jazz hit two quick threes and go up 15-11. The Suns have gone cold and the Jazz extend their lead to 17-11.
The Suns have yet to hit a three, Utah has hit 3 now and take a 24-17 lead.
Phoenix gets a few stops and a few buckets. Jazz now lead 26-21.
The quarter ends with the Jazz leading 30-24.
Phoenix has already played every available player tonight.
The Jazz have started off with 7-0 run to take a 37-24 lead. Suns call time at the 10:05 mark.
Utah doesn’t even look as though they’re playing hard.
Suns now have 10 turnovers and the Jazz are up 41-24. The Suns have not scored in this quarter yet. 7:56 remaining.
Suns finally end the drought as Oubre hits two at the free throw line.
The Suns are making some baskets and stopping the Jazz. Jazz still lead 45-37 with 4:39 left in the half.
The Suns are actually shooting better than the Jazz from the field but the Jazz have hit 5 threes to zero for the Suns. Utah has also taken 8 more shots than the Suns, due partially to their 20-15 rebounding edge.
Jazz lead 50-40 at 2:49.
Suns are playing solid defense but it’s not quite good enough as the half ends with the Jazz leading 56-46.
At the Half
Josh Jackson leads the Suns with 15 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. has 10. The Suns for some reason did not get Ayton the ball after the first quarter. He had 8 int the 1st, 0 in the 2nd but he has 5 rebounds. Jay Crowder leads the Jazz with 10 and Ricky Rubio surprisingly lead them in rebounds with 6.
The Jazz have out rebounded the Suns 23-18. The Suns are 0 of 9 from three while the Jazz are 5 of 13 (38.5%). Overall, Phoenix shot 48.6% from the field to 51.1% for Utah.
Turnovers are even at 9, but the Jazz have 7 steals to only 4 for Phoenix.
Ayton stays with a miss and eventually tips it in to start the 3rd quarter. Elie Okobo scores off a steal and cuts the Jazz lead to 56-50.
Bridges finally hits the first three for the Suns after a Jazz two! Jazz lead 58-53.
Turnovers are still a problem for both teams. The Suns are playing good defense but can’t turn that into points. The Jazz now lead 64-53 at 7:13.
Great D by the Suns to force a shot clock violation and they cut the Jazz lead to 64-57. Time called with 5:14 left in the 3rd quarter.
Utah now back up 69-60 but the Suns won’t go away. They’re playing good defense and are now only down by 4. 75-71 Jazz.
The Jazz aren’t slacking off either and extend their lead to 79-71 at the end of three.
The Jazz quickly push their lead up to 13 and force the Suns to call an early timeout with 10:56 left in the game. Jazz up 84-71.
The Suns make a little run but then give it all back... plus some. They’re now down 95-78 with 8:14 to play.
20 turnovers now for the Suns compared to 12 for Utah.
Utah leads 97-78 with 6:49 left to play.
The Jazz are pulling away as the Suns have gone cold in the 4th.
This game is over. Suns lose 116-88.