THE Utah Jazz hit some big shots and came up with crucial stops down the stretch to rally past the Phoenix Suns, 106-101, at the Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time)
Trailing 101-99 with 1:13 left in what was a back-and-forth fourth quarter battle, Joe Johnson came up clutch as he drilled an ice-cold triple for the Jazz to go up 102-101 with 45 seconds to go and Devin Booker came up empty handed on his own jumper on the next play.
Gordon Hayward put the Jazz up three with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining and Rudy Gobert sealed Utah’s fourth straight win with a block on Marquese Chriss’ layup before Johnson put up the final points of the game with another set of charities.
Utah got off to a 12-4 start before Phoenix started taking control late in the second quarter to build a six-point halftime lead, 53-47.
The Suns even led by as high as eight, 70-62, midway through the third before the Jazz cut the lead down to one in closing the period with a 17-10 blitz. Phoenix then regained a six-point advantage early in the fourth before Utah stormed back and took the lead, 99-97, with over three minutes left.
Seven Jazz players scored in double figures led by Gobert’s huge double-double of 18 points and 17 rebounds with four blocks. Hayward and George Hill each added 17 markers, while Johnson had 15 off the bench to put Utah’s record at 27-16.
Boris Diaw chipped in 12 points while Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors had 11 apiece.
Eric Bledsoe led all scorers with 31 points but Phoenix fell to 13-28 as Booker and TJ Warren were the only other Suns players in double figures with 25 and 14 markers, respectively.