Jazz Dish Out 30 Assists In Win Over Phoenix
PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Utah Jazz had a full point guard rotation for the first time in over two months for their 114-97 win over the Phoenix Suns, helping them move the ball around the court and net 30 assists – 7 of which came from power forward Derrick Favors.
That hasn’t been the case since January 5, when Dante Exum suffered a sprained ankle against the Detroit Pistons. Since then, Utah’s trio of point guards – Exum (26), Raul Neto (18), and Ricky Rubio (9) – have combined to miss 53 games.
“It’s good to have point guards to play basketball,” Rudy Gobert joked after the game. “Injuries are never good to deal with, so it’s good to have them back.”
The addition made a noticeable difference in the way the Jazz shared the ball, recording 30 assists on 41 field goals in the win over the Suns.
Assists Off Pick & Roll Net More 3s
“I thought we were more connected on offense,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “We were able to attack the paint and get some threes.”
The Jazz shot 36 percent from behind the arc, but made 12 of 33, compared to 7 of 19 three-point shooting from the Suns.
Snyder said making those shots in clutch situations – especially as the Phoenix made a late run in the second half – improved the rest of the team’s play.
“Those are just easier shots,” Snyder added. “That’s why you have a high number of assists tonight.”
Neto made an immediate impact when he entered the game, recording three assists in his first three minutes before finishing with five assists in just 11 minutes played.
“I think it’s awesome to have everyone healthy,” said Donovan Mitchell. “It allows Ricky, Dante, and Raul to make plays, we all have trust and faith in each other to make plays.”
It wasn’t only the point guards that shared the ball. While Rubio and Neto combined for 9 of the team’s 30 assists, Derrick Favors led the team with a career-high 7 assists, and Joe Ingles added another 6.
Assists from the Jazz front court have increased as a development over the last two months from the lack of a traditional point guard. It turned out to be a benefit against the Suns.
“Everybody that played when me, Ricky, and Dante were out, they did a great job,” said Neto. “It’s great to have the team playing together again and getting ready for this stretch which is very important to us.”