"I wasn't trying to settle for the 3," he said. "I was trying to get in the paint and get a 4- or 5-foot jump shot or make the defense collapse so I could kick it out for an open jump shot."
But when he saw Suns guard Eric Bledsoe and another defender get mixed up on a screen, Burke made sure to leave his mark.
"I had the confidence to shoot it," he said.
Six games into his pro career, confidence has been Burke's calling card.
"He's got guts, man," said forward Marvin Williams. "It's kind of exciting to watch him play and watch him grow each night. He's not afraid of big moments and we need that from him."
Last week, Burke collected his first NBA victory by hitting a runner late in the fourth quarter against Chicago to help force overtime. Then in the extra period, the ninth overall draft pick out of Michigan drained a 3 to cushion the Jazz lead.
Against Phoenix, Burke logged the best game so far as a pro.
He finished with a career-high 20 points all but three coming in the second half. He tied a career best with six rebounds, and he dished out three assists while turning the ball over only once.
"He's getting better," coach Ty Corbin said. "He's understanding more of what we're looking for in a point guard. He's a scorer by nature, so we're trying to get his scoring ability mixed in with his play-making ability some. He's growing every night. He's learning."
With the game on the line, Burke hit both of his fourth-quarter shots, each one a 3-pointer, and calmly sank a pair of free throws.
"Throughout his career," Corbin said, "he's been a big-shot guy."
Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets
P At EnergySolutions Arena
Tipoff • Monday, 7 p.m.
TV • ROOT Sports
Radio • 97.5 FM, 960 AM, 1280 AM
Records • Jazz 3-15; Rockets 13-5
About the Jazz • Coming off their first road win of the season, a 112-104 victory in Phoenix, the Jazz return home for two games. … The Jazz are spreading the scoring around; seven players are averaging double figures, with forward Jeremy Evans just outside that mark at 9.2 ppg. … Derrick Favors is putting up 13 points and 9.5 rebounds a night.
About the Rockets • Point guard Jeremy Lin is expected to miss two weeks with an injury. … Guard James Harden is one of the league's top five scorers. … Dwight Howard has returned to form after a rough season last year in Los Angeles.