Suns 99, Jazz 84By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Fri, Dec 14, 2012 11:40 PM EST
PHOENIX -- Jared Dudley scored a season high 22 points, Goran Dragic added 17 points and Marcin Gortat contributed 12 points and 14 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns followed up a seven-game losing streak with a second straight win, 99-84 over the Utah Jazz on Friday. PJ Tucker and Michael Beasley combined for 21 of Phoenix's 38 bench points as the Suns recorded back-to-back victories for just the third time this season and, for the first time, beat teams with a winning record consecutively. Phoenix surprised the Memphis Grizzlies 82-80 on Dragic's game-winner on Wednesday. Al Jefferson led a balanced Utah scoring attack with 14 points and Paul Millsap had 12, but the Jazz led only once in the entire game -- 13-12 in the first quarter -- and saw its season-best four-game losing streak snapped as its road woes continue. The Jazz is now 4-10 away from EnergySolutions Arena, where it is 9-1. Phoenix held off a Utah rally bid in the third quarter thanks to 11 points from Dragic and Gortat and answered again in the fourth when Utah pulled to within 79-72 on Derrick Favors' jumper with 10:23 left. The Suns held the Jazz without a basket for the next 6:22 during a 14-2 run that put the game away. Coming off their most impressive win of the season over the Grizzlies Wednesday, the Suns carried the momentum over and took control of the game late in the first period. Tied 18-18 with 4:42 left, Phoenix closed the quarter on a 16-4 run, eight of them from Beasley off the bench, to take a 34-22 lead. Beasley had two of Phoenix's five 3-pointers in the first half. Dudley had 13 points in the first half and gave the Suns their biggest lead at 56-36 on a fastbreak layup with 3:34 left. The Suns had a 15-3 edge in fastbreak points in the half. Jefferson, who had 27 points and 14 rebounds in a win over the Suns on Nov. 10 in Utah, had just six points at intermission. Notes: Heading into Friday, the Jazz has given Suns center Marcin Gortat fits in Salt Lake City. In four road games in Utah since joining the Suns, Gortat averaged just 7.3 points on 41 percent shooting. Gortat's two previous home games were much better, averaging 18 points and 68 percent shooting. ... Utah C Al Jefferson came into the game with 246 career double-doubles, third among active players in the Western Conference behind Dwight Howard (459) and David Lee (252). Jefferson had 27 points and 14 rebounds in a 94-81 Jazz win in Utah on Nov. 10. ... Phoenix's Jared Dudley is averaging 12.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and four assists since returning to the starting lineup three games ago. Utah coach Tyrone Corbin and assistant Mike Sanders both played for the Suns and was part of the biggest trades in team history on Feb. 25, 1988 -- heading in different directions. Corbin came to Phoenix with Kevin Johnson, Mark West and a draft choice that became Dan Majerle in exchange for Sanders and Larry Nance.
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