Utah's stingy defense holds Phoenix to season-low 69 points as Jazz stretch win streak to four
Derrick Favors gave Brandon Knight a taste of Utah's stingy defense. AP

SALT LAKE CITY — Joe Ingles had a season-high 15 points and career-high six steals, Trey Lyles had 17 points and the Utah Jazz beat the Phoenix Suns 103-69 Thursday night (Friday, Manila time) to close the playoff gap with 14 games remaining.

The Jazz are now one game behind the Rockets and Mavericks, who are tied for the last two Western Conference playoff spots. They are also 1 1/2 back of the Trail Blazers for sixth.

Utah's defense smothered Phoenix most of the night, and a 5-minute stretch to begin the second half put the Suns away. The Jazz opened the third with a 10-run for a 56-38 lead, and the Suns were unable to manage a single point for the first 5:27 of action.

Ingles got his second consecutive start with Gordon Hayward out with a foot injury. Shelvin Mack was close to a triple-double with 15 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Brandon Knight led the Suns with 17 points. The 69 points were a season low.

The Jazz took a 46-38 lead into halftime thanks to a buzzer-beating corner-3 from Lyles.

Utah grabbed an early nine-point lead thanks to a 14-5 run capped by Rodney Hood's fast-break dunk. Jon Leuer's eight second-quarter points helped trim the lead to three, but the Jazz closed the half on a 7-2 stretch.


Suns: Phoenix began the night as one of three teams officially eliminated from playoff contention. ... Alex Len scored 10 points and had 12 rebounds. ... Mirza Teletovic failed to hit a 3-pointer in a game for the first time since January 29.

Jazz: Alec Burks missed his 40th game with a fractured right fibula. He was originally expected to be back by now, but there is still no timetable for his return. ... Coach Quin Snyder pushed the normal morning shoot-around to late afternoon Thursday in hopes of conserving some energy. ... Rudy Gobert had 16 rebounds.



Hayward missed his second consecutive game due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He is considered day-to-day after playing through the injury for some time.

"It may never completely be better, but there is a point where you become ineffective because of the pain," Snyder said. "He's reached that point and is still at that point right now. He's improving. He's a tough guy."


Suns rookie Devin Booker entered the game averaging 23.6 points in March, 13.5 in February and 17.3 in January after a slow start to the season. He topped out at an average of 7.6 points per game over the course of his first three months. Suns coach Earl Watson said he saw the potential in summer league and was assigned to work with him individually.

"We had a vision for him," Watson said. "Handling the ball was one of those visions we talked about. He accepted it, worked on it and grew. ... Going into the season, you brought him along slowly, relied on the catch-and-shoot and he played well and had his moments."

Booker was held to seven points Thursday.


Booker and Lyles were teammates on the Kentucky team that advanced to the Final Four last year. Lyles was selected No. 12 in the draft and Booker went No. 13.


The Suns travel to face the Lakers on Friday.

The Jazz travel to face the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

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