NBA-best Suns overcome 17-point deficit in 4th to beat Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Devin Booker scored 33 points and the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Utah Jazz 111-105 on Friday night.

Deandre Ayton sealed the victory with a pass from Chris Paul with 18.4 seconds left. Ayton had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul had 16 points and 16 assists to help the Suns extend their franchise-record 64th win.

Mikal Bridges added 18 points, capping a 14-0 run by Phoenix in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 98. His dunk and three-point game with 46 seconds left gave the Suns a 107-102 lead.

The Jazz didn’t make a field goal (nine straight errors) for nearly seven minutes in the fourth quarter. Utah has lost 16 games in which it led by double figures this season. The Suns outscored the Jazz 36-13 in the fourth quarter.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points for Utah. Slowed down by Bridges, Donovan Mitchell scored 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting. Rudy Gobert finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

After both teams had rested stars in their previous games, this one looked like a playoff preview with brilliant execution at times and extraordinary effort.

Showing why these squads rank at the top in offensive efficiency, there were incredible baskets until the Suns suddenly clamped down.

A long time ago, the Suns clinched the number one spot in the NBA, and why they look like the team to beat.

The Suns finished with a franchise-record 32 road wins and became the first NBA team since the 1969-70 New York Knicks to finish with a better winning percentage on the road than the winning percentage on the road. home of all the other teams. The Jazz are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference, but they may drop to sixth place on the final night of the season.

Jordan Clarkson hit the buzzer with a 3-pointer to give Utah a 92-75 lead entering the fourth quarter, where the Jazz have been one of the weakest finishers among playoff teams and the Suns have been the best.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots as Utah Jazz forward Danuel House Jr. (25) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, April 8, 2022. in Salt Lake City.

BOOOOO-ZER HONOR

Carlos Boozer, a two-time All-Star with the Jazz, was honored during the third quarter with a standing chorus of Boooos, as was customary in his 2004-10 career at Utah. The Jazz haven’t been back to the Western Conference Finals since Boozer took them there in 2007.

TIPS

Suns: A group of Suns fans chanted “MVP! MVP!” when Booker shot free throws. … Officials reversed a foul call on Danuel House defending Booker on a jump shot in the third quarter, ruling that Booker created contact with a kick to the leg. … JaVale McGee put in a technical in the fourth quarter.

Jazz: Grammy Award winner Olivia Rodrigo, who filmed High School Musical and its “Drivers License” music video in Utah, sat courtside in a Jazz T-shirt. … Mitchell led a standing ovation for House after a series of rushed plays in the third quarter. … The Jazz had 33 free throw attempts to the Suns’ 15 attempts from the line.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Suns: At Sacramento on Sunday.

Jazz: In Portland on Sunday.

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