Jazz Defeat Suns In Preseason Opener

Dec 12, 2020, 9:32 PM | Updated: 9:37 pm
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz defends Cameron Payne of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett...
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz defends Cameron Payne of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz defeated the Phoenix Suns 119-105 in their preseason opener.

The Jazz key starters only played in the first half but highlighted some of the points of emphasis coach Quin Snyder wanted to see out of training camp.

The team connected on 12-31 three-point shots in the opening half, something Snyder hoped to see carry over from the team’s play to finish last season in Orlando.

“If you’ve got a bunch of guys that can make shots, you probably need to try to shoot more of them,” Snyder said before tip-off. “Even I can figure that out.”

Six Jazz players connected on three-point attempts, including four makes from reserve guard Jordan Clarkson. The high-scoring guard finished with a game-high 19 points.

Snyder also wanted to see the Jazz stick with shooters more efficiently on defense with Derrick Favors back on the roster, allowing perimeter defenders to be more mindful of their assignment.

During the first 24 minutes of the game, the Jazz allowed just 12 Suns three-point attempts while forcing eight turnovers.

Donovan Mitchell picked up where he left off in the bubble scoring nine of his 12 game points in the first quarter. The All-Star guard added four assists in 17 minutes.

Joe Ingles and Favors found their must discussed chemistry early in the first half, connecting on a pick and roll layup just seconds after Favors entered the game.

Favors finished the game with eight points and three rebounds on 4-5 shooting. Ingles racked up seven assists but was held scoreless in 14 minutes.

Neither Mike Conley nor Royce O’Neale played for the Jazz in the preseason opener. Both players missed time during the team’s training camp but were merely resting according to the organization.

Rookies Elijah Hughes and Udoka Azubuike made their NBA debuts in the second half of the game. Azubuike’s first career basket came on an alley-oop from Hughes. The big man finished with six points and three rebounds on 3-4 shooting.

Hughes added nine points on 4-6 shooting in 12 minutes in his NBA debut.

The Jazz will host the Suns again Monday night in the team’s second of three preseason contests.

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