Utah Jazz: Suns defeat Jazz 112-101
Going for consecutive wins, hapless Jazz can't stop offense of Hornacek's Suns.
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Remember how the Jazz's momentum-building win over Chicago on Monday, three days to rest after a grueling early schedule and improved roster-wide health was going launch Utah into a new and more success stretch of the season?

Forget it.

Markieff Morris scored 23 points, and Phoenix shot 65 percent through the first three quarters during a 112-101 win over the Jazz on Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

Talk about a Thanksgiving turkey.

The Jazz were thoroughly outplayed in a game that, given the circumstances, provided an opportunity for a step forward during their season of rebuilding.

"I thought we would have a little more pep in our step after a few days off," said coach Tyrone Corbin. "... [But] we didn't give our best effort tonight, I don't think."

Defensively, the Jazz looked lost.

After taking a 9-0 lead, Utah watched the Suns make 11 of their next 13 shots. Phoenix scored at least 31 points in each of the first three quarters and led by as many as 20.

"They are a good transition team," said Jazz forward Jeremy Evans. "The focus was to get back and get some stops. But Coach said it better than anybody: They were able to do whatever they wanted to do."

Teammate Marvin Williams agreed, saying, "That's what the game came down to. We couldn't get stops."

Offensively, Utah's quick start was a mirage.

The Jazz scored only nine points over the final seven minutes of the first half, when the Suns turned a 42-41 deficit into a 62-51 lead.

"I thought we started off [well], and then we got in foul trouble and it dissipated from there," Corbin said. "... We have to find our way back. We have to play like we did against Chicago."

In the 89-83 overtime victory over the Bulls, Utah allowed 78 points in regulation. By contrast, Phoenix had the same total with 6:30 left in the third quarter, when it owned a 78-69 lead. The most critical stretch of the game followed.

The Jazz failed to score on six possessions, while Morris scored eight straight points. Phoenix eventually opened a 91-71 lead.

"They made shots," Corbin said. "I thought they got what they wanted. They had us spread out. They got drives. They got the ball where they wanted to. ... It was too easy."

Said Williams: "They have a lot of guys who can score the basketball. And they play unselfishly."

Despite everything, however, the Jazz still had a chance.

Rookie Trey Burke scored nine of his 13 points late in the third quarter and, with 7:50 remaining, Evans scored back-to-back baskets to make it 99-87.

"Like we always talk about: Never give up," Evans said. "There's still time on the clock [and] we still feel like we can win."

Problem? The Jazz's offense sputtered again. They managed only two free throws from their next seven possessions as the Suns pulled away.

"We had the lead and then kind of goofed around a little bit there in the fourth quarter," said Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek. "... You've got to continue to play the right way."

If there was a bright spot for the Jazz, it was Evans.

He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes in his best performance of a season that he started with a rotator cuff injury.

"We talked about it from training camp," Corbin said. "It was unfortunate he got hurt, but we thought Jeremy would have a breakout year for us. ... As he gets more confidence, he'll continue to do good things."

luhm@sltrib.com —

Storylines

O Phoenix shoots 65 percent and scores 95 points through three quarters.

• Utah starts with a 9-0 lead, but can't stop the Suns and falls to 2-15 this season. Suns 112, Jazz 101

FG FT Reb

Phoenix Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Tucker 36:41 1-6 4-4 1-4 2 2 6

Frye 22:25 5-7 0-0 1-2 1 4 13

Plumlee 32:45 6-9 3-4 2-10 2 3 15

Dragic 38:57 7-12 5-5 0-3 9 1 19

Green 29:01 5-11 0-0 0-1 1 0 13

MarkMrris 28:28 8-13 6-6 1-3 0 3 23

Bledsoe 28:15 7-11 4-6 1-6 2 2 19

MarcMrris 17:18 2-5 0-0 0-0 1 1 4

Goodwin 4:11 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 1 0

Christmas 1:59 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240:00 41-75 22-25 6-30 18 17 112

Percentages: FG .547, FT .880. 3-Point Goals: 8-25, .320 (Frye 3-5, Green 3-8, Bledsoe 1-2, Mark.Morris 1-2, Goodwin 0-1, Dragic 0-2, Marc.Morris 0-2, Tucker 0-3). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 8 (11 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Dragic 2, Frye, Mark.Morris, Plumlee). Turnovers: 8 (Bledsoe 2, Dragic 2, Mark.Morris 2, Green, Tucker). Steals: 4 (Bledsoe 3, Mark.Morris). Technical Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb

Utah Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Jefferson 23:29 2-5 2-2 1-2 3 1 6

Williams 27:40 7-11 2-2 2-7 2 0 18

Favors 25:10 6-8 3-4 1-4 2 0 15

Burke 25:25 6-14 0-0 0-1 3 2 13

Hayward 34:24 4-10 3-3 2-7 6 2 11

Lucas III 16:39 2-6 0-0 0-0 1 1 6

Rush 12:31 0-2 0-0 0-1 2 0 0

Kanter 18:41 3-7 0-0 2-4 0 5 6

Evans 26:16 5-8 0-2 3-7 1 4 10

Burks 24:06 5-12 6-7 2-5 0 2 16

Biedrins 4:09 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Garrett 1:30 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

Totals 240:00 40-83 16-20 13-39 21 18 101

Percentages: FG .482, FT .800. 3-Point Goals: 5-20, .250 (Lucas III 2-4, Williams 2-6, Burke 1-4, Rush 0-1, Hayward 0-2, Jefferson 0-3). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 12 (14 PTS). Blocked Shots: 1 (Evans). Turnovers: 11 (Favors 2, Hayward 2, Jefferson 2, Kanter 2, Burks, Evans, Rush). Steals: 5 (Evans 2, Burke, Hayward, Lucas III). Technical Fouls: None.

Phoenix 31 31 33 17 — 112

Utah 33 18 27 23 — 101

Attendance • 18,435. Time • 2:03.

Officials • Ken Mauer, Pat Fraher, Justin Van Duyne.