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NBA: Win over Phoenix lets Jazz breathe easier before road trip
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) takes a jumpshot during warmups before a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) stretches during warmups before a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors takes a jumpshot during warmups before a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans takes a jumpshot during warmups before a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(right) Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) attempts a layup as he is defended by Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(right) Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) attempts a layup as he is defended by Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(right) Utah Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) tries to drive the basket as (left) Phoenix Suns power forward Luis Scola (14) defends at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(left) Utah Jazz power forward Marvin Williams (2) takes a jump shot as Phoenix Suns small forward Michael Beasley (0) defends at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) drives the basket during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) drives the basket as (right) Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) defends during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(right) Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) attempts a layup as Phoenix Suns small forward Wesley Johnson (2) defends during the first half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(left) Phoenix Suns shooting guard P.J. Tucker (17) defends as Utah Jazz power forward Marvin Williams (2) takes a shot during a game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(middle) Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) takes a shot as Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris (11) defends during a game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Alec Burks (10) takes a shot as at Phoenix Suns small forward Michael Beasley (0) defends during a game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) looks the pass the ball as Phoenix Suns point guard Sebastian Telfair (31) defends during a game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) drives the basket past (left) Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during the first half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jazz Head Coach Tyrone Corbin yells from the sidelines during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(right) Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) attempts a layup as he is defended by Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(right) Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) attempts a layup as he is defended by Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(left) Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) defends as Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) takes a jump shot during the first half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) drives the basket past Phoenix Suns point guard Shannon Brown (26) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) is blocked by Phoenix Suns power forward Luis Scola (14) while attempting a layup in the second half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Tribune file photo)  
Alvin Gentry, the Phoenix Suns' head coach in this 2012 photo, is now an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers. A Yahoo! Sports report says the Utah Jazz will interview Gentry for their coaching vacancy.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(right) Utah Jazz power forward Marvin Williams (2) attempts a layup as Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris (11) defends at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) passes the ball past Phoenix Suns shooting guard P.J. Tucker (17) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Marvin Williams (2) competes with (left) Phoenix Suns shooting guard P.J. Tucker (17) for a rebound during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) dunks the ball during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(from left) Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4), small forward Michael Beasley (0) and forward Markieff Morris (11) react on the bench as they fall behind the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) battles with (back) Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) and (right) Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris (11) for a rebound during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin talks with Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) on the sidelines during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(back) Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) and Utah Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) put pressure on Phoenix Suns power forward Luis Scola (14) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Marvin Williams (2) dives over Phoenix Suns power forward Luis Scola (14) for a loose ball during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Utah Jazz power forward Marvin Williams (2) keeps control of a ball on the floor as he feel pressure from Phoenix Suns players at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012. The Jazz went on to win the game 94-81.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
(right) Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) attempts a layup as he is defended by Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during a game against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 10, 2012.

Must-win games are rare in the NBA — at least until the playoffs.

They are more rare only two weeks into the marathon-like regular season.

The Utah Jazz played a game they needed badly Saturday night, however, and veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley quarterbacked them to victory.

Just 24 hours after a miserable performance in Denver and staring into the teeth of an upcoming four-game road trip, Tinsley and the Jazz rolled to a 94-81 victory over Phoenix at EnergySolutions Arena.

How sorely did Utah need a win?

Coach Tyrone Corbin tightened his rotation like it was the postseason.

Story continues below

Gordon Hayward, who scored 18 points, played 43 minutes. Tinsley, starting in place of injured Mo Williams, played 41.

“Everybody knew what was at stake,” said Marvin Williams, who scored 13 points in 38 minutes.

Individually, Tinsley stole the spotlight.

In only his third NBA start since the 2007-08 season, he went scoreless. But his 14 assists were five more than any Jazz player had previously handed out this season. He had six in the first quarter, when Utah jumped to a 29-19 lead.

“I thought he was great,” said Corbin. “It’s difficult — people don’t understand — when somebody goes down and you actually start and play the minutes he played tonight.

“I thought he got a little tired at the end and made some errant plays. But, for the most part, he directed the offense for us very well and got us into the stuff we needed to get into.”

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At a glance

Storylines Jazz 94, Suns 81

Paul Millsap and Gordon Hayward score 18 points as the Jazz win their third straight home game.

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