Suns 87, Jazz 84

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Eric Bledsoe scored 17 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and drilled the winning 3-pointer from 25 feet with 0.7 of a second left as the Phoenix Suns shook off the loss of Goran Dragic and moved to 2-0 with an 87-84 win over the Utah Jazz.
Miles Plumlee posted his second consecutive double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Suns improved to 2-0 for the 11th time in team history but the first time since the 2009-10 season. All previous 10 Phoenix teams that started the season 2-0 made the playoffs.
The Suns lost Dragic to a right facial contusion when he collided with Tucker late in the first half. He tried to play in the third quarter but lasted just three minutes as facial swelling continued.
Enes Kanter had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Gordon Hayward added 18 points, including a 3-pointer with 22.5 seconds left to tie the score at 84. But Bledsoe, who was 0 of 6 from the field and 0 of 3 from 3-point range after three quarters, drilled the winner.
The Suns shot 37 percent from the field but held the Jazz to 36 percent shooting and used 24 fast-break points to provide just enough.
Alec Burks had 10 of his 15 off the bench in the fourth quarter for Utah, but the Jazz committed 20 turnovers and missed 10 free throws.
After scoring 30 first-quarter points and never looking back in Wednesday's season-opening win over Portland, the Suns raced to a 6-0 lead and put up 29 against the Jazz.
Utah committed seven turnovers and shot 36 percent from the field but stayed close at 29-23 thanks to 11 points from Hayward and eight free throws.
But the second quarter was all Utah. Kanter had 10 of his 12 first-half points and the Jazz started the quarter on a 13-2 run, going up 36-31 on a Kanter 16-footer with 6:50 left.
Phoenix's only points during the run came on an Archie Goodwin floating jumper. Six Suns turnovers and 6-of-20 shooting from the field during a 14-point quarter hamstrung the Phoenix offense.
Channing Frye gave Phoenix the lead back briefly at 37-36 on a layup, but Utah answered with 3-pointers by Hayward and Richard Jefferson and a Kanter layup to restore the lead to 44-37.
That's when Dragic and P.J. Tucker collided in midair chasing down a long pass. Both players stayed on the floor for an extended period before both got to their feet and stayed in the game.
Utah quickly expanded a 46-43 halftime lead to 10 when Kanter followed a John Lucas III 3-pointer with an 8-footer and layup. But with Dragic gone for the night, the Suns reeled off a 17-3 run highlighted by seven straight points from backup Dionte Christmas and capped by a 19-foot step-back jumper rom Markieff Morris to give the Suns a 62-56 lead with 2:49 left.
NOTES: Suns coach Jeff Hornacek remains the Jazz's career leader in free throw percentage (.897) and 3-point percentage (.428) and ranks sixth in assists (1,895) and 3-pointers made (439), seventh in steals (618) and eighth in games started (436). "I think when I go out there I will just think that it is a practice," said Hornacek, who was shooting coach and assistant coach for the Jazz from 2007 to 2013. ... Hornacek and Corbin, now in his fourth season as Jazz coach, were teammates in Phoenix from 1987 to 1989 but were never teammates in Utah, where Hornacek played from 1994 to 2000 and Corbin from 1991 to 1994. "I was extremely excited for him to get the Phoenix job," Corbin said. "I am happy he was given the opportunity and he will do a good job." ... Bledsoe and Dragic became the first Suns tandem to record 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in the same game since Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw on April 6, 2006 at Seattle. ... Morris returned after serving a one-game suspension for his elbow to the face of Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka in an Oct. 22 preseason game.

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