Daily Journal masthead

Rodney Hood scores 25 points, Gordon Hayward adds 22 and the Utah Jazz stretch their season-long winning streak to six games with a 98-89 victory over the reeling Phoenix Suns

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

PHOENIX — A fast start was enough to propel the Utah Jazz to their season's-best sixth straight victory.

Rodney Hood scored 25 points, Gordon Hayward added 22 and the Jazz withstood a late Phoenix rally to beat the reeling Suns 98-89 on Saturday night.

"I am going to let myself feel good about winning six in a row," Jazz coach Quinn Snyder said. "I want us to be consistent. Today's game was (what) a microcosm of the season can look like where you play well real and then you don't play so good. We have been playing well or better."

The Suns lost their seventh straight and are 2-22 in their last 24 games, the worst record in such a span in the franchise's history. They are 0-3 since coach Jeff Hornacek was fired.

Rookie Devin Booker scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the Suns, who cut Utah's 23-point lead to six in the final minutes.

"It just shows our fight," Booker said. "We're not going to give up. That's been the motto of our team all year. We might lose games but we're going to lay it all out there, and that's what we've been doing."

Mirza Teletovic scored all 15 of his points in the second half for the Suns. Markieff Morris added 17 points and a career-high eight assists.

Utah, coming off a victory over Milwaukee on Friday night, scored the first 10 points and was up by as many as 20 in the first half and 23 in the third quarter.

"We talked about that before the game, about coming out early and not letting them set the tone," Hayward said. "We didn't let that happen. We were good defensively and because of that we got some good stuff on the offensive end, easy stuff and kind of got rolling."

All five Utah starters reached double figures.

Teletovic's 3-pointer capped a 7-0 spurt to pull the Suns within 10, 75-65, with 10:09 to play. Hood responded with consecutive baskets, but Phoenix came back to cut it to 84-75 on Booker's step-back 13-footer with 3:30 to play.

PHOTO: Utah Jazz forward Chris Johnson (23) drives on Phoenix Suns guard Jordan McRae in the second quarter during an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Utah Jazz forward Chris Johnson (23) drives on Phoenix Suns guard Jordan McRae in the second quarter during an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Jazz used free throws to pad the lead from there but consecutive 3-pointers by the 19-year-old Booker made it 94-88 with 1:34 to play. Rudy Gobert, who sank 9 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter, made two from the line with 1:22 to play to boost the lead to 96-88 and the Jazz held on from there.

Utah never trailed, shooting out to a 14-2 lead, prompting interim coach Earl Watson to replace all five starters. The Jazz led 31-12 after one quarter. The Suns shot 23 percent in the quarter (5-for-22) to Utah's 57 percent (12 of 21).

The Suns mounted a 9-0 run in the second quarter to cut Utah's lead to 36-25 on Morris' driving layup with 5:13 left in the half and it was 40-29 after Booker's fastbreak basket at 3:24. But Hood's 3-pointer boosted the lead to 48-30, Raul Neto sank a 3 just before the halftime buzzer and Utah led 53-35.

"That's a tough team to come back on when you're down 20," Watson said. "They do a great job of playing well, playing together. You know defensively they're one of the best teams in the league."

NO WIN IN SIGHT

The prospects for a Suns win in the near future are dim. Phoenix hosts Oklahoma City on Monday and Golden State on Wednesday before the All-Star break. The Suns' next five opponents have winning records.

TIP-INS

Jazz: The last time Utah won six straight was last March 6-16. ... The Suns' 12-point first quarter was second-lowest for a Jazz opponent this season. The Knicks scored 11 on Dec. 9.

Suns: Phoenix's lowest-scoring first quarter was 10 at the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 3. ... Orlando Johnson, who signed a 10-day contract on Friday, scored seven points in 19 minutes. ... The Suns didn't get a basket until 4 1/2 minutes into the game but scored 54 in the second half.

UP NEXT:

Jazz: At Dallas on Tuesday.

Suns: Hosts Oklahoma City on Monday.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) shoots over Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler in the second quarter during an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Click to view (4 Photos)

All content copyright ©2016 Daily Journal, a publication of AIM Media Indiana unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.