Rookie Mitchell scores 40, Jazz rout Suns 129-97
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 03, 2018 12:31 PM
After being fouled on a 3-point basket, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) is helped up off the floor by guards Ricky Rubio (3) and Joe Johnson, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
By Bob Baum, Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 40 points, one shy of his career high, and the Utah Jazz won their fourth in a row with a 129-97 rout of the Phoenix Suns on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
The Jazz rookie sensation made 14-of-19 shots and a career-best seven three's in nine attempts. It was the sixth game of at least 30 points in his young NBA career.
Ricky Rubio had 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the Jazz. Joe Ingles added 16 points, including 4-of-6 three's, and Derrick Favors had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Josh Jackson led the Suns with 20 points. Devin Booker, still bothered by bruised ribs, scored 18 points for Phoenix but on 7-of-24 shooting. He missed all seven of his triples. Dragan Bender added 16 points and nine rebounds.
The Jazz, who hadn't played since their 30-point home win over Golden State on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time), opened a four-game trip in dominating fashion.
The Suns' only lead was 2-0.
Utah scored 14 straight points to go up 24-8 before Bender came off the bench for eight first-quarter points and Phoenix finished the first quarter with a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 28-23.
The Suns never got any closer. Mitchell sank a three-pointer, was fouled by Booker, and made the free throw for a four-point play, igniting a 12-0 run that put Utah up 53-33 on Rubio's triple.
The Jazz led 62-40 at the half. They were up by 36 during the third quarter and 41 in the fourth.
Mitchell almost certainly would have topped his career best but left the game for good with 6:54 to play.
It was the most one-sided loss for Phoenix since Jay Triano took over as interim coach three games into the season.
Jazz: Mitchell will participate in the Rising Stars Challenge and the Skills Challenge on All-Star weekend. ... Mitchell's career high is 41 against New Orleans on Jan. 24 (Jan. 25, PHL time). ... Rubio has five career triple-doubles, none with Utah. ... Utah's largest margin of victory this season was 47 points against Washington on Dec. 4 (Dec. 5, PHL time).
Suns: Booker was 2-for-2 at the foul line to break the franchise record for consecutive free throws made in a season at 58. Kevin Johnson (1989-90) and Mike Bratz (1980) shared the previous record of 57. ... Suns signed guard Josh Gray to a 10-day contract. Gray had been with the Northern Arizona Suns of the G-League. He scored seven points, all in the fourth quarter, in his NBA debut. ... Center Alex Len (right ankle soreness) did not play for the second straight game and has missed five of the last six.
Jazz: At San Antonio Spurs Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time).
Suns: Host Charlotte Hornets on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).