Notebook: Jazz 94, Suns 81



Posted Nov 11, 2012 12:43 AM

By Andrew Aragon, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: What's wrong with Al Jefferson? Nothing, apparently.

Jefferson, who has battled through a virus and an off-shooting touch so far this season, broke out with a season-high 27 points and 14 rebounds in the Utah Jazz's 94-81 win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night. Paul Millsap also had a double-double for Utah, chipping in 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Gordon Hayward scored 18 points and had five points for Utah, which stayed unbeaten at home.

The Suns were led by Luis Scola's 21 points and 11 rebounds. Jared Dudley chipped in 16 points for Phoenix, which trimmed a 22-point third-quarter deficit to five with 5:24 left in the game.

QUOTABLE: "I just made shots. Last night I missed my shots and tonight they were falling."

-- Jefferson

THE STAT: The Jazz didn't allow the Suns to play their run-and-gun game. Phoenix had just 10 fast-break points against Utah, down from the 22 it had against Cleveland on Friday night.

TURNING POINT: The Jazz pulled away in the third quarter while wearing the Suns down. Utah outscored Phoenix 18-5 during a six-minute stretch to build a 73-53 lead. The Suns shot 2-for-12 while Millsap scored six points during the game-changing span. Phoenix made a charge in the fourth quarter, but Utah had built enough of a cushion to hold the Suns off.

HOT: Jefferson started the season slowly, and his scoring average was down more than seven points from a year ago before Saturday's game. But he started fast and made his presence felt the rest of the way against Phoenix. He made five of his first seven shots, and his 27 points were a welcome sight for Jazz fans, who saw last season's scoring average of 19.2 points drop to 11.8 prior to Saturday's game. For Phoenix, Dudley entered Saturday's game averaging 7.0 points, but easily topped that before halftime.

NOT: Phoenix guard Shannon Brown entered Saturday's game on a hot streak, averaging 21.3 points in his last three games. But he was a no-show against the Jazz. He didn't score until the third quarter and finished with four points on 1-for-9 shooting. Suns center Marcin Gortat, who was also playing well before Saturday's game, shot 0-for-6 and scored one point.

QUOTABLE II: "Just another bad start. We keep digging ourselves holes and then try to dig our way out of it, and you can't do that, especially on the road."

-- Suns coach Alvin Gentry

GOOD MOVE: The Jazz, when they were able to build big leads, played smart. They didn't try to run with the Suns, used their superior size and pounded the ball inside. Jamaal Tinsley, filling in for the injured Mo Williams, was an outstanding facilitator, dishing 14 assists while committing just two turnovers.

BAD MOVE: Utah fell into too many lulls and got complacent in a game it could have handled much easier. The Jazz led by 16 in the second quarter and 22 in the third quarter, and each time allowed the Suns to make runs to get back into it. Some rest for the starters would have been nice for Utah, which embarks on a difficult four-game road trip.

NOTABLE: Mo Williams did not play after straining his right adductor against Denver on Friday night. He is Utah's leader in scoring with 16.8 points per game and in assists with 6.3 per game. Tinsley had 10 of his assists in the first half. The last time he had recorded 10 assists in a half was on Nov. 21, 2007 when he played for the Indiana Pacers. ... Utah has not trailed at home for more than 86 minutes. ... Phoenix had a season-high 12 assists.

UP NEXT: For the Suns, Monday vs. Denver, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Friday @ L.A. Lakers. For the Jazz, Monday @ Toronto, Wednesday @ Boston, Friday @ Philadelphia.