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Suns-Jazz Preview

AP - Sports

With Goran Dragic and Channing Frye playing at a high level, the Phoenix Suns seemingly haven't missed leading scorer Eric Bledsoe while recapturing their early season success.

The much-improved Suns seek their fourth win in five games as they try to keep the Utah Jazz from winning back-to-back games for the first time Friday night.

Phoenix (8-7) stumbled through a recent four-game losing streak that including three defeats by a total of six points, but it's gotten back on track by winning three of four, including a 120-106 victory over visiting Portland on Wednesday that ended the Trail Blazers' 11-game win streak.

''I'm glad we don't have to play Phoenix until April,'' said Portland coach Terry Stotts, whose team is 1-2 against the Suns and 12-1 against the rest of the league. ''After we got a lead they completely outplayed us. They ran, they rebounded, they played an excellent game."

Dragic matched a season high with 31 points and went 4 of 5 from 3-point range to go with 10 assists, while Frye added 25 and nine rebounds while shooting 10 of 12. Markieff Morris scored 19 and twin Marcus Morris had 15 for the Suns, who rallied from a 16-point second-quarter deficit.

Dragic has played a key role in the recent resurgence, averaging 22.6 points and 9.0 assists in his last five games. Frye has scored 18.8 per game while making 14 of 29 from 3-point range in his past four.

"Goran has just been on a tear,'' Frye said. "When he is feeling it like that you just give it to him and get the hell out of the way.''

Even without Bledsoe, who averages a team-high 20.4 points, the up-tempo Suns put up a season-high point total, shot 51.9 percent from the field and went 10 for 24 on 3s against the Blazers.

Bledsoe's status remains uncertain after he missed the last six games with a bruised shin. He had a team-high 18 points despite going 4 of 15 from the floor and scored Phoenix's final 14 - including a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left - in an 87-84 win over visiting Utah on Nov. 1.

Enes Kanter had 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Gordon Hayward added 18 points, 10 boards and eight assists for the Jazz (2-14) in that meeting. Kanter, though, will be a game-time decision after sitting out an 89-83 overtime win over Chicago on Wednesday because of an ankle injury.

Hayward scored a game-high 25 points in a 103-88 win in the most recent meeting at Utah on March 27. He had 15 points and a career-high 12 assists to help the Jazz snap a six-game losing streak Wednesday, but has gone 13 of 53 (24.5 percent) from the field in his last four games.

''I'm in a slump with my shot so I'm trying to be more of a playmaker,'' said Hayward, who leads the Jazz with 16.8 points per game.

Rookie Trey Burke finished with 14 points despite 5-of-17 shooting against the Bulls, sinking a key 3-pointer down the stretch in his fourth game since returning from finger surgery.

The Jazz, second to last in the league with 88.5 points and a 41.7 field-goal percentage, have won the last three meetings in Salt Lake City.

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