Gordon Hayward
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images

Four Quarters—Jazz 100, Suns 105 (Preseason)

by Bill Lea

By Matt Payne–UtahJazz.com

 The Jazz capped off a 5-3 preseason with a 105-100 loss to the Phoenix Suns Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena. Gordon Hayward led all scorers with 24 points, while Alec Burks added 20. Derrick Favors (rest) did not play. Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas had 18 points each for the Suns, who put the game away with a strong second half. Both teams came out firing in the ...

First Quarter, when the Jazz got off to a hot start behind 3-pointers from Trey Burke and Trevor Booker in Utah’s first two possessions. Eight quick points from Enes Kanter helped the Jazz build a 17-7 lead. Hayward got into the action midway through the quarter, draining a mid-range jumper then throwing down a two-handed baseline dunk while being fouled by Alex Len. Hayward converted another three-point play just minutes later as the Jazz took a 33-28 lead heading into the ...

Second Quarter. Alec Burks drilled a long jumper, then a chase-down block by Carrick Felix ignited the crowd as the Jazz opened the quarter on a 9-5 run. Burks scored six points in the quarter as both teams struggled from the field—Utah shot 29.4 percent while Phoenix wasn’t much better at 34.8 percent. Phoenix went on an 8-2 run to end the half, cutting Utah’s lead to four at halftime and carrying the momentum in to the ... 

Third Quarter, when they immediately went on a 6-0 run to take a 53-51 lead. The Jazz, though, countered with an 11-2 run of their own behind Hayward, who had six points in the quarter, and Burke. Thomas, though, hit a buzzer-beating jumper to tie the game going into the ...

Fourth Quarter, where there were seven ties and lead changes. Burks tied the game at 81-81 with a 3-pointer, then pulled a crossover into a step-back three that tied the game again at 86-86 just a minute later. Jazz rookie Rodney Hood hit another 3-pointer to give Utah the lead, but the momentum changed when Kanter lost a jump ball to 6-foot-1 Eric Bledsoe, which led to a Markieff Morris jumper. Dragic then drilled a three on Phoenix’s next possession to put away the game for the Suns. 

Significant Stat

After a hot start (52.2 percent shooting in the first quarter), the Jazz shot only 37.5 percent from the field during the final three quarters as Phoenix overcame Utah’s early lead to claim the victory.

Coach’s Quote of the Night

“I think [Phoenix’s] physicality bothered us. There were some points where we needed to run our offense with more force, if that makes sense. We got bottled up a little bit individually, and all of the sudden the shot clock would be running down. … We took some shots that didn’t really have a chance of going in, and those are basically turnovers.”

—Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

Friday’s Best

Hayward closed out a solid preseason with 24 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal in 35 minutes of court time. He notched at least one steal in each of Utah’s eight preseason games (and got six steals against the Clippers) and scored in double figures in all but one, when he played only 12 minutes against the Lakers.

Friday’s Worst

Utah’s transition defense, which had been stout throughout the preseason, was more porous tonight. The Jazz entered the game giving up an average of 7.9 transition points per game in the preseason, but allowed Phoenix (which played at the league’s eighth-fastest pace last season) to score 20 points in transition.

Up Next

The Jazz will begin their 2014-15 regular season when they host Houston on Wednesday, October 29. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT, and the game will be broadcast on ROOT SPORTS.



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