July 14, 2024

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Durant, Beal lead Phoenix Suns’ 129-115 victory against Utah Jazz

4 min read
BLAZING SUNS. Phoenix Suns scorch Utah Jazz, 129-115, extending their winning streak to three games and clinching a 12th win in their last 15 outings. PHOENIX SUNS PHOTO

Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal propelled the Phoenix Suns to a 129-115 victory over the Utah Jazz on Thursday night (Friday, February 9 in the Philippines), extending their winning streak to three games and clinching a 12th win in their last 15 outings.

Notably, the Suns achieved this triumph without All-Star Devin Booker, who sat out due to a sore left hip.

The Suns dictated the game from the outset, never trailing and showcasing their offensive prowess with nearly 60% shooting from the field. The victory also marked a clean sweep for the Suns in the four-game regular-season series against the Jazz.

Kevin Durant spearheaded the Suns’ attack with a stellar 31-point performance, while Bradley Beal added 30 points to the mix.

The absence of Devin Booker didn’t hinder the Suns, as they distributed the scoring load efficiently and played a team-first brand of basketball.

Suns coach Frank Vogel expressed his satisfaction with the team’s collective play, stating that they want to become a team-first team. He underscored the team as having elite individual talents, but he loves them playing together.

The first quarter set the tone for the Suns, with a scorching start that saw them establish a 40-28 lead. Durant was particularly dominant, contributing 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The Suns maintained control, heading into halftime with a 75-66 lead.

Although Utah made a push in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 81-78, Phoenix responded emphatically with a 13-0 run. This surge, highlighted by three-pointers from Aaron Gordon and Bradley Beal, allowed the Suns to regain control and build a commanding 109-90 lead by the end of the third quarter.

Jazz coach Will Hardy acknowledged the Suns’ ability to capitalize on crucial moments, stating, “They did a great job of capitalizing on those moments.” Despite efforts to narrow the gap, the Jazz couldn’t overcome the Suns’ offensive onslaught, trailing throughout the fourth quarter with a double-digit deficit.

Gordon made a significant impact with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, Jusuf Nurkic contributed 16 points and eight rebounds, and Grayson Allen showcased his playmaking abilities with eight points and a career-high 14 assists.

Allen’s elevated role in orchestrating the offense demonstrated the Suns’ adaptability in the absence of key players.

The trade deadline brought changes to both teams, with the Suns acquiring Royce O’Neale from Brooklyn and David Roddy from Memphis. However, neither player was available for Thursday’s game.

The Jazz made moves by adding Kevin Knox II, Kira Lewis Jr., and Otto Porter Jr., but these additions were also unavailable for the matchup.

As the Suns continue to evolve and showcase their depth, the absence of key players like Devin Booker becomes an opportunity for others to step up. The team’s commitment to a team-first mentality and unselfish play bodes well for their future aspirations in the competitive landscape of the NBA.

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