Jazz blows 23-point lead but recovers to snuff Suns late-game rally and win third in a row
Rudy Gobert came up with huge defensive plays and drilled the dagger to help the Jazz escape with a win over the Suns. AP

UTAH turned to its defense to douse a furious Phoenix late-game rally as the Jazz recovered from losing a 23-point lead to defeat the Suns, 112-105, on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Utah led by 19 at the start of the fourth but Phoenix bench unleashed a 30-9 run to tie the game at 103 with a Leandro Barbosa jumper at the 3:07 mark. But Joe Johnson came up with a crucial swipe on the next play to feed Gordon Hayward on the break. Then Rudy Gobert blocked Brandon Knight’s shot and Shelvin Mack hit a floater to put the Jazz back up 107-103, with 1:30 remaining.

Knight sank Phoenix’s last bucket with 0:37 left but Utah held on to win as Gobert drilled the dagger on the next play and sank the Suns hopes of a comeback.

Hayward led Utah with 28 points, while Gobert had a big game as he ended up with 22 markers, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw chipped in 13 apiece, while Mack added 12 off the bench to help the Jazz win their third straight game and improve to 14-9.

Devin Booker finished with 21 points to lead Phoenix and Knight added 15 off the bench. Eric Bledsoe and Alex Len each scored 14, while Barbosa added 13 markers. The Suns have lost two straight games to fall to 6-15.

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