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Suns vs Jazz Preview: Utah looks to win second half of mini-series with Phoenix

After losing to the Suns last week in the In-Season Tournament, Utah looks to return the favor at home.

Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz (4-8) are hosting the Phoenix Suns (6-6) once more in Salt Lake City. After losing to the Suns in last week’s In-Season Tournament group-stage game, the Jazz will look to split their mini-series with Phoenix at home tonight.

For Utah, Friday’s game was one of the best all-around performances they have had this season. Although they lost, the Jazz offered more poise on both sides of the ball than they have in wins against lowly Portland and Memphis. While defense remains an issue, the Jazz had solid individual performances from both Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Agbaji, with Agbaji in particular standing out as a perimeter defender. Although Kevin Durant scored 38 points on an absurd 15/22 shooting, Agbaji had a number of strong contests, including a near perfect closeout on Durant’s dagger three late in the fourth.

Offensively, the Keyonte George and Jordan Clarkson backcourt has proven successful, with Clarkson exploding over the previous three games. On Friday, Clarkson scored 37 points on 26 shots, while George chipped in 15 points and dished out 6 assists. The playmaking development from George thus far has been remarkable, and it appears the Jazz have found their point guards of the future. Frankly, even the most bullish of George supporters likely didn’t expect the rookie guard to have such an incredible impact as a playmaker and floor general. Tonight against the Suns, look for George to try and set up Markkanen more, as Utah’s All-Star only took 12 shots on Friday, scoring 21 points.

For the Suns, guard Bradley Beal will remain out tonight due to a lower-back strain. Forward Yuta Watanabe is listed as questionable due to a left quadriceps contusion. Walker Kessler remains the only player on the injury report for Utah.

Game info

When: Sunday, November 19th, 6:00 PM MT

Where: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT

TV/Streaming: Jazz+, KJZZ

Radio: KSL 1160 AM & 102.7 FM