The Phoenix Suns proved to be the superior team in part I of their home-and-home set with the Utah Jazz, winning 112-101 to go to 9-7 on the year.
The Jazz came out with a 9-0 run right after the jumpball, which resulted in a Hornacek timeout to get things straightened out. Then Phoenix went on a run and soon after, the game was tied up at 11. From then on, The Suns were in control. Phoenix was up by twenty at times later that game, but fans watching at home in the valley got nervous when the lead shrunk, and the Jazz looked to be making a comeback.
The Suns just kept applying pressure and the Jazz couldn’t hold up.
Phoenix finished with six players in double-figures, led by Markieff Morris’ 23 points off the bench. He also had a +15 plus/minus. Goran Dragic finished with 19 points (+19 plus/minus), while adding nine assists and a couple blocks in the victory.
Eric Bledsoe didn’t miss a beat after being out for the last six tames with a shin injury. He finished with 19 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks. He is a much more phenomenal shooter than I previously thought and his calming presence really stabilizes the team.
Miles Plumlee had a solid, legit game that shows he can be a starting center in the league for years to come. He only had 15 points, which is decent considering it was against Derrick Favors and Plumlee is not a focal point of the offense. He finished with a remarkable game-high +24 plus/minus in 33 minutes. He also added 10 rebounds, two assists and a block.
Channing Frye and Gerald Green both added 13 points.
With the Jazz grasping for a spark, they ran a lot of guys out on the court, led by Marvin Williams’ 18 points. Alec Burks added 16 points off the bench, while Derrick Favors added 15.
Rookie Trey Burke was schooled in this game by veteran Dragic. Burke finished with 13 points on 6-14 shooting. Burke was frustrated time and time again with Dragic’s energy, as he was running around screens and generally out-playing the rookie.
Phoenix only committed eight turnovers against Utah, which is a good sign going forward for this Suns squad.
Part II of this home-and-home set between the Suns and Jazz tips off Saturday night at 6:30 local time in Phoenix.