The Utah Jazz struggles continued tonight as they collapsed down the stretch and fell 115-109 to the Phoenix Suns. The Suns might have come into this game expecting to blow the short-handed Jazz out of the water but it didn’t play out that way. The Jazz backups almost pulled off the stunner. It was an entertaining game and even though it didn’t go the Jazz’s way, at least they can hold their heads high for competing and not giving up for the full 48 minutes.
The Suns won this game but it is nothing special for them. They have a league leading 37-9 record and the only impressive thing about their play tonight was that it is evident that they know how to close a game. That comes from the leadership of Chris Paul and it’s not to take away from the win, because that’s ultimately the only thing that matters, but they only really looked like an intimidating opponent in the 4th quarter when Chris Paul started hitting threes and flopping all over the court. That should give the entire western conference hope that they can compete with this team. Some may say that the Suns were just toying with the Jazz for three quarters but championship caliber teams do not leave any doubt that they are the best. Devin Booker lead the Suns with 33 points on 14-35 shooting.
The Jazz played hard and even showed grit in the 4th quarter by not rolling over and making it easy for Phoenix. There truly are no moral victories, but I think the Jazz can take a lot of positives from this game. For the second straight game backup guard Trent Forest showed out with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Jordan Clarkson lead the team with 22 points on 9-20 shooting. The Jazz were without their closers Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tonight obviously, but hopefully we will get Donovan back for next game in Vivint Arena.
The Jazz went toe to toe with the “best” team in the league and came up a little bit short but remember the Jazz were the “best” team in the league last year and it turned out to not matter when the postseason was here. The Jazz will get another chance to show that they can compete with the Suns when the two teams meet again on Wednesday in Salt Lake City. It should be a fun game and hopefully Utah can snap out of of their funk and get back on the winning track.