The comeback kids can’t do it every night. The Phoenix Suns (3-4) fell short to the Utah Jazz (3-4) on Saturday night 94-81. The Suns fresh off a 26 point rally in a win against the Cavaliers last night couldn’t do it tonight.
The Suns seemed lifeless all-night and trailed the Jazz all night all. The Suns dug themselves a hole early trailing 29-19 after the 1st quarter and trailed by as much as 22 points late in the 3rd quarter after a Derrick Favors dunk.
However the Suns kept fighting, behind Shannon Brown who sparked the Suns late in the 3rd quarter with his quick but only 4 points of the evening and the Suns trailed 61-77 after 3 quarters.
The Suns came into the 4th period with a chip on their shoulders and Luis Scola scored 5 of his 21 points to begin the 4th for the Suns.
The Suns would go on to take the Jazz out of the game with their pesky defense and go on a 13-2 run in the 4th capped off by a Michael Beasley put-back and the Suns trailed only 74-79 at the 5:24 mark in the 4th quarter after trailing by as much as 22 points earlier in the game.
Unfortunately for the Suns, the comeback magic wasn’t going to take place two nights in a row. The Jazz went on a 15-7 run to close out the quarter.
Utah did a tremendous job defensively against the Suns holding the Suns to 37% shooting, including 25% from behind the 3-point line.
The Jazz were led by their post-up maestro Al Jefferson who scored a season high 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds on the night. Paul Milsap and Gordon Hayward each added 18 points each for Utah.
I’m sure a lot of Suns fans recall how badly Marcin Gortat played the last time the Suns played in Utah when the Suns and the Jazz were fighting for the final playoff spot and pretty much the winner of that game would likely go on to the playoffs. Well during that game Gortat came up smaller than mini-me, and tonight, history repeated itself.
Marcin Gortat shot 0 for 6 from the field, got completely dominated by Jefferson, and the rest of the Utah big guys. You know what, basketball is a team game and it’s unfair to place the blame on a single player but Gortat is at fault 100% for tonight’s loss!
I mean it was embarrassing what was going on out there. Gortat was an absolute non-factor on the floor just like he was on April 24th of last season when the Suns fell to the Jazz and was eliminated from the playoff race.
Gortat’s body language throughout the game became a plague that spread through every last Suns player that was on the floor with him. Gortat couldn’t guard Jefferson, Enes Kanter, Paul Milsap, and he sure as hell couldn’t guard Derrick Favors who was playing volleyball with Gortat’s shot attempts the last time these two guys met, and he did it again tonight. Gortat spent more time tonight, complaining about calls or complaining about not getting a call than he did trying to actually defend and stay in front of his man.
It’s one thing to get worked over by one of the best low-post centers in the league in Al Jefferson but it’s another to get worked over by what seemed like every single of Utah’s big men.
It’s extremely disappointing to watch the Suns get an improbable win last night to the disaster that we saw tonight. In fact tonight was a lot like last night, except the Suns just couldn’t dig themselves out of this one.
Sebastian Telfair had himself another nice game as he scored 9 points, dished out 4 assists and got himself 4 steals. Shannon
Brown wasn’t the 4th quarter star tonight, Brown shot 1 of 9 on the game and scored just 4 points.
The Suns were dominated on the boards tonight, getting outrebounded by the Jazz 52-37. The Suns simply just were out of it tonight, it began with Gortat and ultimately it spread through most of the team; the team was lifeless for the first 36 minutes of the game and the only time when they actually gained some life was when Gortat stepped off the court.
The Suns don’t have a lot of time to figure things out. The Suns will be flying back home to Phoenix tonight to prepare against the Denver Nuggets who are coming to town on Monday night.