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Game Recap: Post NBA trade deadline, Utah Jazz fall to Kevin Durant and the Pheonix Suns

Turns out this young Durant fellow is pretty good.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jazz came out looking discombobulated, undersized, and prone to turnovers. They found themself down 9-2 to open up the game, settled for a bunch of low-percentage floaters, and allowed Nurkic to feast inside. He used his height advantage to bully smaller defenders such as John Collins and Taylor Hendricks, who were usually unable to affect his shots. Kevin Durant also had a key mismatch—coaches usually put their best defenders on KD, and in Will Hardy’s case that is Kris Dunn, who is about a foot shorter. Still, Dunn did well, all things considered. In the mid-first quarter, Keyonte George, Taylor Horton-Tucker, and Taylor Hendricks checked in. Keyonte ran the point with confidence, THT played like himself, and Hendricks had some nice moments, including a big block on KD. By the time the quarter ended, the Jazz found themselves on the wrong end of 75-66.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

In the second quarter, the wheels appeared to fall off. The Jazz gave up open threes, turned the ball over, and generally looked lost. But then Dunn, Markkanen, and Jordan Clarkson hit a barrage of threes, the team got some defensive stops, and when the dust settled and the quarter ended the score was 75-66 in favor of Phoenix.

In the third, the Suns opened on a 10-0 run. The Jazz did attempt to make it interesting, hitting a barrage of shots and getting some stops, (largely thanks to Kris Dunn) but once they pulled within three points, Frank Vogel put the clamps down and the Suns started hitting shots again.

From there, the Jazz never got within striking distance the lead again. The Suns put the hammer down, the “Up 20, Down 20” teams checked in, and that was that.

Next up for the guys who wear the note is a trip back home to face the Golden State Warriors.