Jazz win 11th straight, beating Suns 107-97
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 15, 2018 12:43 PM
Phoenix Suns guard Elfrid Payton, right, guards Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, left, in the first half during an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
By John Coon, Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points, Royce O'Neale had a career-high 19 and the Utah Jazz won their 11th straight game, beating the Phoenix Suns 107-97 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
Derrick Favors had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Rudy Gobert added 14 points and 17 rebounds. Mitchell and Joe Ingles each had six assists.
Devin Booker returned from a hip injury to lead the Suns with 28 points. Josh Jackson added 22 points, and Elfrid Payton had a triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Phoenix has lost seven straight.
Utah had a 54-41 rebounding advantage and a 52-40 edge in points in the paint.
Jackson and O'Neale took turns dominating on offense in the second quarter. O'Neale had nine points in the quarter, and Jackson had eight.
Jackson's four baskets early in the quarter helped the Suns stick with the Jazz. Phoenix tied it at 36 after he cut to the basket, first for a layup and then a dunk, on back-to-back possessions. Then O'Neale took over late in the quarter, scoring four baskets in the final 3:44 before halftime. He capped it off with a buzzer-beating step-back jumper that gave Utah a 50-41 halftime lead.
The Suns rallied again in the third quarter and went ahead 60-59 on a basket from Alex Len. Mitchell answered with a go-ahead three-pointer on the other end and eventually put the Jazz back ahead 70-62 on a step-back jumper from the rookie.
Phoenix pulled ahead one more time early in the fourth quarter, taking a 75-74 lead on back-to-back baskets from Marquese Chriss and Jackson. Jae Crowder got to the line on two straight possessions to fuel an 8-0 run that put Utah back in front 85-77.
The Suns cut it to 98-95 on a three-pointer from Payton, but Crowder answered with back-to-back layups to give the Jazz a 102-95 lead with 1:58 left.
Suns: Booker returned to the lineup after missing four games with a left hip contusion. ... Jackson scored 20 plus points for the eighth time in the last 19 games. ... The Suns outscored the Jazz 31-19 in bench points.
Jazz: Ricky Rubio (hip) did not play for a third straight game. .... Mitchell has led Utah in scoring during its 11-game winning streak, averaging 21.3 points. He's the first rookie to accomplish that feat since Wilt Chamberlain in 1959-60.
Suns: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time).
Jazz: Host Portland on Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time).