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Jefferson, Hayward lift Jazz past Suns 103-88

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 28, 2013 at 12:34 am •  Published: March 28, 2013
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"It was pretty gross," Foye said of Kanter's injury. "But he's a tough kid. I hope he has a speedy recovery."

Jefferson, who had 27 points combined the previous two games, said he's seen similar injuries that have kept players out two to four weeks. The Jazz have 10 games remaining over the next three weeks.

Kanter is averaging 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds for Utah while playing with the second unit, but led the Jazz in scoring in Dallas last week with 17 points.

"Guys are beat up," said Jazz forward Marvin Williams, who played through right heel bursitis "Paul (Millsap) is a little sick, Randy's been sick, my heel's a little beat up, but ... we'll fight through it."

It helped that they didn't have to face Dragic.

"We're just kind of shutting him down," Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter said before the game. "He's been playing a whole lot of minutes and we're going to give him a break periodically through these last couple of games. If you watched him come out of games, he's looked like he's been in a brawl."

The Suns have long been out of the playoff race, but they do have a vested interest in seeing the Jazz finish ahead of the Lakers for the eighth seed. If the Lakers miss the playoffs, the Suns get the Lakers' draft pick that is not lottery protected as part of the Steve Nash deal.

Utah opened the fourth just as it started the game, with hot shooting and a take-it-to-them attitude.

Jefferson scored on a layup, converted a three-point play and hit a midrange jumper and Alec Burks added a 3-pointer as the Jazz stretched their lead to 85-71 with 8:58 left.

"Little plays are what win you basketball games," said Williams, who kept a rebound alive during Utah's 19-5 fourth-quarter run. "When you can sneak in there and get another offensive possession or maybe dive on the ground for loose ball, those are things that will put you over the top."

NOTES: The Jazz on Wednesday signed former Marquette standout Jerel McNeal to a 10-day contract from the D-League's Bakersfield Jam. The 6-3 guard finished his college career as Marquette's all-time leader in scoring, steals and games played, but went undrafted in 2009. ... Former Jazz C Mehmet Okur attended Wednesday's game. ... Marshall made his first career start and opened 0 for 3 with a pair of first-half turnovers, but had nine assists in the first half. He finished with seven points and 13 assists. ... The Jazz scored a season-high 34 points in the first quarter.