Phoenix dominated from start to finish and beat the Jazz, 121-100, to move into the lead in the Western Conference.
The Suns took control of the game early, with Devin Booker going for 14. When Royce O’Neale was announced active, it was supposed to be a feather in Utah’s cap in this matchup, but Booker proved too quick and elusive for O’Neale to handle early on.
At the same time, without Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, the Jazz immediately struggled to keep up with Phoenix’s scoring.
Also in the first quarter, Deandre Ayton scared the whole building by jogging quickly to the bench after getting tangled up under the basket, clutching his shoulder. Ayton stayed in his seat for a few moments before checking back into the game and finishing an and-1 layup the next play. Good stuff.
The Suns were up, 39-23, after the first.
They kept pouring it on in the second, as Mikal Bridges scored five quick points in transition and the Suns’ defense kept Utah at bay.
MIKAL BRIDGES APPRECIATION POST!!!! pic.twitter.com/n5zjV2qF77— Bally Sports Arizona (@BallySportSAZ) May 1, 2021
Despite Utah shooting 8-15 in the first half from distance compared to the Suns shooting just 5-15, the game wasn’t terribly close in the first 24 minutes.
Phoenix went into the break up, 68-52.
For some reason, Rudy Gobert did not start the second half, as Utah instead went with Derrick Favors for the first few minutes. Gobert checked in around the 9:30 mark. We’ll probably hear more about it postgame.
Monty Williams let the bench roll a bit more in the third quarter, with the consistently solid Cameron Payne leading the way. The Suns’ field goal percentage ticked slowly closer to 60, and Phoenix stayed in charge.
We even got the first Devin Booker pull-up threes in what feels like weeks.
DEVIN BOOKER.— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 1, 2021
Devin Booker did Rudy Gobert so dirty— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) May 1, 2021
That barrage to end the third gave Booker 31 in just 29 minutes as he checked out of the game after a job well done.
The Suns went into the final frame up, 96-72.
It was a bench affair to close this one out, as Utah put Miye Oni, Jarrell Brantley and Matt Thomas on the floor. Rather than dig down deep and give Jalen Smith or Ty-Shon Alexander some time, Williams kept the regular bench unit in the game.
That changed around the 5-minute mark, when Smith and Alexander both came in alongside Langston Galloway, Dario Saric and Jevon Carter.
STIX ALERT!!! pic.twitter.com/FD3XVoK5xx— Bally Sports Arizona (@BallySportSAZ) May 1, 2021
They played clean up duty as the Suns moved into first place in the Western Conference by way of a sweep of Utah this season that gives them a tie-breaker over the Jazz.
What a time.