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(Friday, January 4th)
Final Score: Utah 87, Phoenix 80
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Al Jefferson poured in 21 points and pulled down eight rebounds and Paul Millsap added 19 points to go with 10 boards as the Utah Jazz cruised past the Phoenix Suns, 87-80, on Friday.
Gordon Hayward scored 14 points, Randy Foye dropped in 13 and Derrick Favors finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who have won two straight following a three-game skid.
"We got stops and we picked up our defense. They were hitting big time shots but they really weren't getting easy shots. Points in the paint is what I mean by that. We just picked up our defense and started attacking them," said Utah coach Tyrone Corbin. "Once we keep our defense going we can hold onto a lead. We kept attacking and didn't settle for too many outside shots, we kept attacking the paint."
Marcin Gortat posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, Goran Dragic scored 17 points and dished out six assists and Luis Scola added 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Suns, who have dropped seven of their last eight.
"It wasn't a good game. We just didn't play well after the first quarter and we gave up way too many things in the lane. We had way too many unforced turnovers. It was just one of those games where it was just a disaster, really," said Suns coach Alvin Gentry.
The teams traded blows early in the first quarter until a Scola jumper sparked a 16-8 surge to put the Suns up 22-12. The Jazz, though, closed the half with a 13-9 push to go into the second quarter trailing 31-25.
Despite shooting just 32 percent (8-for-25) in the second period, the Jazz outscored Phoenix 17-9 to take a 42-40 lead into the break. The Suns were just 4-for-19 from the field and were outscored by a 12-2 margin in the paint.
Utah shot a blistering 63.2 percent (12-for-19) in the third, thanks to a 12- point quarter from Jefferson who went 4-for-4 from both the field and the free throw line, to help the Jazz take a 71-62 lead into the final 12 minutes.
The lead swelled to as many as 17 in the fourth and Phoenix got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
The Suns had a season-high 21 turnovers, leading to 25 Utah points.
The Jazz outscored Phoenix, 60-28, in the paint ... Jared Dudley scored 16 points and Sebastian Telfair added 10 for the Suns.
01/05 03:05:36 ET
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