Jefferson's 27 points lift Jazz over Suns 94-81

Associated Press Modified: November 11, 2012 at 12:16 am •  Published: November 11, 2012
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Suns coach Alvin Gentry was more worried about Utah's bigs before the game, and with good reason.

Utah held a 52-37 edge in rebounds, 52-36 advantage on points in the paint and held the Suns to 36.8 percent shooting.

While Utah made eight of its first 13 shots, the Suns started 3 of 10.

"I don't think we were flat," Gentry said. "You have to get the ball in the basket ... Our defense was pretty good. During one stretch (we made) eight out of 10 stops and we didn't make up any ground because we didn't get the ball in the basket on the other end."

The Suns were down 22 points with 2:45 remaining in the third, but opened the fourth on a 9-2 run to pull within 79-70 on Sebastian Telfair's driving layup with 9:24 left. Dudley then stole the ball from Tinsley and dunked at the other end with 6:18 left to pull Phoenix within 79-72, and Beasley's follow made it a five-point game.

But Utah's size was too much to overcome. Jefferson and Millsap shot a combined 6 of 9 in the fourth quarter.

Gordon Hayward added 18 points for the Jazz but was just 6 of 17 shooting and committed four turnovers.

Jefferson was determined to put Friday night's disappointing effort behind him.

The Jazz got off to a fast start behind Jefferson, who opened 4 of 5. Jefferson had more points in the first four minutes Saturday (six) than he did in the loss to Denver on Friday (four). He finished 12 of 20, with a pair of blocks and assists.

He also got help from Utah's other bigs.

Favors' score after a behind-the-back dribble in the lane bumped Utah's lead to 22-11 with 4:20 left, and Enes Kanter's jam off an alley-oop pass from Tinsley gave Utah a 14-point lead.

Favors hit back-to-back shots to open the second quarter and Kanter's impressive move on Markieff Morris in the paint bumped Utah's lead to 35-19.

But after shooting 52 percent in the first, the Jazz went cold, hitting just 1 of 6 from 3-point range in the second and shooting 38 percent overall. Favors' aggressive shot-blocking also got him in foul trouble, as he picked up his third with 8:12 left before half after opening 3 of 4 with three blocks.

As they did Friday, the Suns chipped away.

"We were down 26 last night and ended up winning, but how many times can you do that?" Scola said. "We need to be more solid and play 48 minutes. If we play 48 minutes, we'll be OK."

Notes: Marcin Gortat was 0 of 6 for the Suns and finished with one point . ... Shannon Brown started 0 of 6 and finished 1 of 9 for 4 points after averaging 21.3 points and shooting 54 percent the previous three games. ... The last time Tinsley had 10 assists in a half was Nov. 21, 2007, when he was with Indiana. ... Scola recorded his first double-double of the season as he added 11 rebounds.