Shorthanded Suns Fall to Jazz


Playing on the second night of their 14th back to back of the season, the shorthanded Suns fell to the Utah Jazz Wednesday night, 109-86.

With Goran Dragic (ankle), Slava Kravtsov (ankle) and Leandro Barbosa (toe) out, the Suns had just 10 available players in uniform.

Needless to say, Phoenix caught the Jazz on a hot shooting night as Utah exploded for 109 points. Gordon Hayward had 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead a balanced Utah Jazz offense with Richard Jefferson adding 17 points and former Sun Diante Garrett notching a career-high 15 points.

“We traded baskets with them early,” Jeff Hornacek said after the game. “But we made a few defensive errors and didn’t get back in transition. I think being shorthanded and playing last night, the guys just ran out of gas.”

The Suns were winners of two of the first three meetings this season between the teams, and won the first meeting on Eric Bledsoe’s game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds.

Utah took three of four in the season series in 2012-13, including the final two meetings.

Tonight, without their usual playmaker in Goran Dragic, the Suns shot just 39 percent from the field and allowed the Jazz to shoot 57 percent including over 50 percent from beyond the arc.

The Jazz’s 57.5 percent shooting from the field is the highest mark of any Suns opponent this season.

“Without Goran [Dragic] penetrating, we just didn’t execute the plays as well as we typically do,” Hornacek added. “We seemed slow through everything and couldn’t get much going.

“That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

On the positive side, Archie Goodwin played well in increased minutes scoring 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 27 minutes. Gerald Green paced the Suns with 17 points.

Ish Smith, starting in place of Goran Dragic, finished with an impressive 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Phoenix heads back home to US Airways Center to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday at 8:30 p.m.