Utah Jazz get payback, beat Phoenix Suns 112-104

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Phoenix • For Ty Corbin, the meeting Friday night with his friend and former assistant was "bittersweet." After all, Jeff Hornacek had just come into his old stomping grounds and soundly stomped the Utah Jazz.

One night later, there was nothing bitter about it.

"It feels better," Corbin said after his Jazz team got its revenge, beating the Phoenix Suns 112-104 at US Airways Center. "I like the sweet part."

The 24-hour turnaround was drastic indeed for the 3-15 Jazz.

On Friday, the Suns took advantage of missed shots and turnovers to push the tempo, grabbing easy buckets en route to the victory.

"We watched film this morning and had a team meeting and we know that they're a really good transition team," said rookie point guard Trey Burke, who scored a team-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists in Saturday's win. "We tried to get back early on so they could see Jazz jerseys. Yesterday, a lot of times, they just went coast to coast and laid the ball in."

There was an edge, said forward Marvin Williams, that the Jazz had lacked.

"We needed that last night," said Williams, one of seven Jazz players to finish in double digits. "We felt like Phoenix came into our building and they were able to do whatever they wanted to do. They beat us in transition. They beat us in the halfcourt."

Saturday, in a game that saw six lead changes and 10 ties, the Jazz and Suns were knotted up at 86 after Phoenix guard Gerald Green hit his third 3-pointer of the fourth quarter.

But with 8 minutes left on the clock, the Jazz buckled down, and made a defensive adjustment that took the Suns' offense out of the game for good.

"Coach Corbin is becoming more comfortable with our bigger guys guarding perimeter guys," Williams said. "We've got some mobile bigs that can really step out and guard. … Any time you switch, it always takes away what the offense is looking for. It takes them out of it, and that's what happened in the fourth quarter."

While the Suns tried to adjust, the Jazz knocked down critical 3s, including a pair from the rookie Burke.

"He's got guts, man," Williams said. "It's kind of exciting to watch him play and watch him grow each night. He's not afraid of big moments."

The Jazz found themselves trailing 23-17 after a Channing Frye 3-pointer — one of 12 the Suns would hit on the night — late in the first quarter. But the Jazz showed backbone, finishing the period on an 11-0 run to capture the lead.

Utah pushed its advantage to as much as nine in the second quarter, before Phoenix's Goran Dragic helped spark a 14-2 run to close out the half. Dragic scored six points, all from the foul line, and assisted on a pair of 3-pointers in that run to give the Suns a 53-49 halftime lead. The Phoenix point guard would finish with 24 points and nine assists, both game highs.

With the Suns going small in the third, Jazz forward Richard Jefferson posted up Phoenix guard Eric Bledsoe for two of his five baskets in the quarter. The veteran had 15 points and five rebounds in the game.

"Richard, from the day training camp started, did all the drills, didn't try to sit out anything," Corbin said of the forward who started the season recovering from a back injury. "He just tried to get back into shape and it's paying off for him. As we get out of these struggles, he'll be a huge part for us going forward."

For Phoenix, it was just the second home loss of the season.

For the Jazz, it was the first time the team had won away from Salt Lake City, though the location hardly mattered to Corbin.

"I don't care which floor it was," the coach said. "We needed a win bad."

afalk@sltrib.com —


O Rookie point guard Trey Burke scores a team-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists.

• The Jazz improve to 3-15 on the season, as they claim their first road victory of the year.

• Richard Jefferson adds 15 points and five rebounds.