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Suns can't finish another comeback against Jazz

Published November 10, 2012 11:07 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Phoenix Suns rallied from a 26-point deficit and beat Cleveland on Friday night.

They nearly did it again.

Trailing by 22 late in the third quarter, the Suns got as close as five on Saturday night against the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

In the end, however, Utah held on and scored a 94-81 victory.

"Just another bad start," said coach Alvin Gntry. "We keep digging ourselves holes and then try to dog our way out of them. You can't do that, especially on the road.

Phoenix shot only 36.8 percent against the Jazz. The starting frontcourt of Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola and Michael Beasley finished a combined 10 for 34 from the field.

As a team, the Suns missed 12 of their 16 3-pointers.

"I don't think we did a very good job of executing," said Gentry, "and we didn't shoot the ball well at all. … I don't think we were flat. You have to get the ball in the basket, No. 1."

Mostly, the Suns blamed themselves for falling so far behind — again.

"We can't put ourselves in these kind of holes," said Shannon Brown. "… It's just another example of how we have to come out and start games the way we've been finishing them — with a lot of energy, executing and playing hard."

The Suns appeared finished when the Jazz built a 77-55 lead on Derrick Favors' slam dunk with 2:15 left in the third quarter.

Brown followed with a 3-pointer, however, and started a fierce comeback.

Limiting Utah to only one field goal in 17 possessions, Phoenix steadily closed the gap. It was 79-74 when Paul Millsap hit a jumper to stop the Suns' momentum.

"I got the ball in the post and felt like I wasn't going to be able to get to the basket," Millsap said. "So I shot it and made it."

Said Gentry: "When the game was on the line we stopped them eight out of 10 times. But we got one basket in the process. You can't win playing that way. We have to do a better job of executing and finishing plays."

The Suns dropped to 3-4 this season. Their victories have come by a combined 12 points. Their four losses have been by 61 points.

"You can put any spin on it you want, Gentry said. "But we didn't play well." —

Suns' struggles

• Luis Scola scores 21 points for the Suns, but he misses 12 of his 19 shots.

• Phoenix trims a 22-point deficit to 79-75 in the fourth quarter but can't finish the rally.