If this was the last time we’ll see anyone on this roster play for the Utah Jazz, they were sent off right. The Jazz (31-24) used a 37-17 fourth quarter to dismiss the Phoenix Suns (11-44), who were without their young star Devin Booker due to some hamstring tightness.
What turned out to be an easy victory was anything but for the first three quarters tonight, as the Suns had cut the Jazz lead down to just 4 points with a minute to play in the third frame. Sloppy play from Utah for the majority of the night led to 19 Suns points off of 13 Jazz turnovers. A big discrepancy at the 3-point line prevailed, though, as Utah finished 11-of-28 from behind the arc to Phoenix’s 3-of-17.
Josh Jackson showed out in Booker’s absence for Phoenix, finishing with a game-high 27 points to go with four rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
Tonight’s performance from Royce O’Neale was particularly impressive. The second year player finished with 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-4 from downtown. He was also a +31 in his 27 minutes.
Joe Ingles did Joe Ingles things, finishing with a double-double, 15 points and 11 assists. He also grabbed three rebounds and a steal.
Raul Neto made his return, playing for the first time since injuring his groin Jan. 7 against the Orlando Magic. He finished with 3 points and 3 assists in 12 minutes, a +/- of +20.
Following tomorrow’s trade deadline, the Jazz will play another important tiebreaker-deciding game against the San Antonio Spurs (32-23) Saturday.