Blog: Jazz Drop First In-Season Tournament Game To Suns

Nov 17, 2023, 10:44 PM

Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton defends Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns...

Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton defends Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns (Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz fell to 2-1 in In-Season Tournament play after their 131-128 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 37 points.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 38 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists.

First Quarter

The Suns jumped out to a quick start getting both Kevin Durant and Devin Booker on the board early.

Keyonte George has been too reticent to shoot shots inside the arch, meaning his first shot every night is invariably a three. He might be better served getting dialed in near the rim early and then moving his game outside.

Phoenix was +11 with Durant on the floor and -8 with him on the bench in the first quarter.

After one the Jazz trailed the Suns 41-38.

Second Quarter

The Jazz second unit backcourt of Talen Horton-Tucker and Collin Sexton got shot happy and forgot to look for Lauri Markkanen.

The two guards combined for six shots and just one make between Markkanen’s first and second field goal attempts of the quarter.

Though the Jazz have played better without Walker Kessler this season, they missed him against Jusuf Nurkic who scored 11 points and grabbed three rebounds in the first half.

George had arguably the best stretch of his young career in the second quarter scoring 11 points on 4-6 shooting to go with two rebounds and assist. The rookie had 13 points at the break.

At the half, the Jazz and Suns were tied at 75.

Third Quarter

The Jazz built a 93-87 lead midway through the third as Jordan Clarkson attacked the Suns by getting into the paint repeatedly.

After a difficult first half defensively it looked like the Jazz finally figured out how to double Durant effectively as he was shot just 1-5 in the third quarter. It’s a very aggressive scheme that pays off when it’s run correctly and is easily exploited when the rotations are late.

The Jazz were +4 with George in the lineup in the third and -7 with him on the bench over the final five minutes of the quarter.

Through three the Jazz trailed the Suns 102-99.

Fourth Quarter

Booker’s best stretch of the game came late in third and early in the fourth quarter as he helped the Suns extend their lead to eight with 8:23 left in the game.

Ochai Agbaji had a difficult task defending both Durant and Booker for stretches but played well even though both All-Stars made difficult shots throughout the night.

Ultimately, the Jazz couldn’t get stops late in the game as Durant knocked down a huge three with 18 seconds left to play to give Phoenix a 129-125 lead.

The Jazz fell to the Suns 129-125.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Dalton Knecht #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Draft Prospect: Tennessee F Dalton Knecht

Tennessee forward Dalton Knecht is projected to be selected in the lottery of the 2024 NBA Draft where the Utah Jazz own a top-ten pick.

2 days ago

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson celebrates an in-season tournament win highlights...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Player Highlights: Utah’s Other Veterans In 2023-24 Season

Although Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton stole the show for Utah, some other Jazz veterans played key roles in the 2023-24 season.

2 days ago

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers...

Ben Anderson

Donovan Mitchell Denies Frustration With Cavaliers Teammates

It's been a rough 24 hours for Donovan Mitchell and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates after being eliminated from the playoffs.

3 days ago

Bronny James Utah Jazz 2024 NBA Draft...

Chandler Holt

Utah Jazz Reportedly Have Interest In Working Out, Drafting Bronny James

According to Yahoo Sports, the Utah Jazz have expressed interest in working out Bronny James and selecting him in the 2024 NBA Draft.

3 days ago

Ron Holland #0 of G League Ignite...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Which Wing Fits Jazz Best In Draft?

Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where every week our NBA insiders answer your questions on social media about your favorite team.

5 days ago

Dalton Knecht #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz 2024 NBA Mock Draft Round-Up: Post Lottery

The NBA Draft is just over six weeks away and with the lottery in the rearview mirror, it's officially mock draft season for the Utah Jazz.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Blog: Jazz Drop First In-Season Tournament Game To Suns