Surging Utah Jazz hold off Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns


Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz have now gained 8 of their final 9

Utah Jazz middle Rudy Gobert (27) drives on Phoenix Suns middle Deandre Ayton (22) throughout the first half of an NBA basketball recreation, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photograph/Matt York)

Phoenix • Donovan Mitchell scored 26 factors, Rudy Gobert added 16 factors and 14 rebounds and the Utah Jazz stayed sizzling with a 118-114 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

Utah has gained eight of its previous 9 video games and improved to 38-22. Phoenix — which nonetheless has the perfect file within the NBA at 49-12 — has misplaced back-to-back video games for the primary time in two months.

Utah’s been a little bit inconsistent this season, however is taking part in nicely now that its deep roster is generally wholesome. Jordan Clarkson had 22 factors on 10-of-17 capturing — a part of the Utah second unit that performed nicely and outscored Phoenix’s bench 43-11.

The Jazz used a 16-3 run late within the third quarter to take a 94-89 benefit heading into the fourth quarter. It stayed tight all through a lot of the closing minutes however the Jazz had been capable of maintain their lead, helped by Mitchell’s banked-in 3-pointer with 1:50 remaining that put them up 10.

The Jazz shot 17 of 40 (42.5%) from 3-point vary. Mitchell made six of them.

Devin Booke led Phoenix with 30 factors. Cameron Johnson and Deandre Ayton every added 23. Phoenix had an opportunity to tie the sport within the closing second, however Jae Crowder threw the ball out of bounds.

Phoenix has performed its previous three video games with out All-Star level guard Chris Paul, who broke his thumb on Feb. 16 and could possibly be out the remainder of the common season. The Suns have a 1-2 file in these video games.

The Suns rallied for a 60-56 halftime lead after trailing for a lot of the second quarter. Ayton had 17 factors on 8 of 10 capturing earlier than the break whereas Mitchell scored 11 for the Jazz.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Rudy Homosexual performed Sunday after lacking the earlier six video games with proper knee soreness and a non-COVID sickness. … Gobert had a season-high eight offensive rebounds.

Suns: Made 10 of their first 11 photographs, scoring 24 factors within the first six minutes of the primary quarter. … G Aaron Vacation returned after lacking one recreation with a sprained ankle. … Welcomed their 18th straight sellout crowd to the Footprint Heart.

UP NEXT

Jazz journey to play Houston on Wednesday night time.

“This Is Exactly What We Need From Them” | Mitchell And Gobert Face Phoenix For The First Time



In terms of the common season, it does not get rather more vital for Utah than in the case of this.

The Jazz will look to proceed their momentum in a marquee matchup on Sunday afternoon when it begins a five-game highway journey at Phoenix. Tipoff is ready for 1:30 p.m. MST and can air on ABC.

Utah enters the sport on a excessive after rallying from behind to take down the Mavericks 114-109 on Friday night time — made even higher when their two all-stars shined brightest.

“Donovan (Mitchell) and Rudy (Gobert), that is precisely what we’d like from them,” head coach Quin Snyder mentioned.

Going up in opposition to one of many elite defenses within the league and arguably essentially the most clutch participant within the sport, Utah put issues collectively and was the superior group down the stretch.

Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert fueled that cost by doing issues they don’t seem to be accustomed to: Mitchell served as playmaker reasonably than scorer, and Gobert did his greatest work defensively away from the rim.

Gobert was dominant on the defensive finish, primarily when switched out on Luka Doncic and guarding him on the perimeter. He helped restrict the all-NBA guard to 0-for-5 from the ground, together with a block on a clutch drive that may’ve given Dallas the lead.

“He (Luka) is aware of I am making an attempt to remove his stepback,” he mentioned. “Then he is driving, and I do know he’ll attempt to use my physique after which cease, so I’ve acquired to remain balanced and soak up the contact. Then he’ll attempt to get me within the air, so I’ve acquired to remain down.”

Extra than simply Gobert’s protection, the offense was in rhythm. Mitchell served as catalyst and playmaker, not taking a single shot however directing the offense in ways in which took benefit of mismatches.

Over the ultimate three minutes, Utah shot 3-for-5, 2-of-2 from the free throw line, and had no turnovers. Likewise, Dallas went 1-for-7 from the sector with a turnover.

“This was a major win for us,” Snyder mentioned. “I assumed, notably with these two guys (Mitchell and Gobert), what we noticed from them, simply the sacrifices that every one of our guys made at numerous occasions within the sport for the larger good. … I used to be actually pleased with our effort in opposition to a group that is nearly as good as anyone within the league proper now.”

Utah should proceed to thrive within the clutch when it travels south to face the Suns. 

The Jazz enter the sport on a six-game dropping streak to Phoenix, together with two losses in late January once they struggled by accidents and protocols. However these video games ought to include an asterisk as each Mitchell and Gobert have been out with separate accidents.

Whereas the Jazz are actually wholesome — much more in order Rudy Homosexual is listed as questionable after lacking the earlier six video games with proper knee soreness and sickness — the Suns will probably be shorthanded. All-star level guard Chris Paul is out for the foreseeable future after an avulsion fracture within the thumb of his capturing hand.

“We had a tough January,” Snyder mentioned. “I feel that that stretch of harm and COVID-19 and a few losses simply can take rather a lot out of you. … I feel it introduced us collectively too. I imply, I feel the best way we have performed of late is a mirrored image form of how our group dealt with that adversity throughout that point.”

STATS
Utah (36-22, 21-10 dwelling / No. 4 Western Convention)
Offense

*113.7 Factors Per Recreation (No. 3 in NBA)
*115.9 Offensive Ranking (No. 1 in NBA)

Protection
*106.7 Factors Per Recreation (No. 9 in NBA)
*109.1 Defensive Ranking (No. 11 in NBA)

*Donovan Mitchell: 25.9 factors / 5.2 assists / 4.2 rebounds / 1.6 steals
*Rudy Gobert: 15.6 factors / 14.8 rebounds / 2.3 blocks / 71.6% capturing 
*Bojan Bogdanovic: 17.8 factors / 4.3 rebounds / 37.7% 3P-shooting
*Jordan Clarkson: 15.4 factors / 3.3 rebounds / 2.3 assists

Phoenix (49-11, 23-5 away / No. 1 Western Convention)
Offense

*113.6 Factors Per Recreation (No. 4 in NBA)
*113.4 Offensive Ranking (No. 3 in NBA)

Protection
*105.7 Factors Per Recreation (No. 6 in NBA)
*105.5 Defensive Ranking (No. 3 in NBA)

*Devin Booker: 27.5 factors / 5.2 assists / 4.6 rebounds / 36.5% 3P-shooting
*Deandre Ayton: 16.3 factors / 10.1 rebounds / 63.6% capturing
*Mikal Bridges: 13.4 factors / 4.4 rebounds / 36.0% 3P-shooting

MATCHUP TO WATCH
*Donovan Mitchell vs. Devin Booker
— For higher or for worse, the Mitchell and Booker comparisons are going to fill headlines — and thats what makes this matchup so intriguing. Whereas Booker will probably be taking much more duty with Chris Paul out, Mitchell has lifted his sport to a different stage and is taking part in at an all-NBA stage.

INJURY REPORT
Utah
QUESTIONABLE — Rudy Homosexual (Non-COVID Associated Sickness) 
OUT — Jared Butler (Proper Ankle Sprain)

Phoenix
QUESTIONABLE — Aaron Vacation (Proper Ankle Soreness)
OUT — Frank Kaminsky (Proper Knee Stress Response)
OUT — Chris Paul (Proper Thumb Avulsion Fracture)
OUT — Cameron Payne (Proper Wrist Sprain)
OUT — Dario Saric (Proper ACL Tear)

BROADCAST INFORMATION
Time:
 1:30 p.m. MST
Location: Footprint Middle / Phoenix, AZ
TV: ABC
Radio: 1280 The Zone