Phoenix • Paul Millsap suffered a three-stitch cut on his ear, took an elbow to his throat and was kicked in the ribs.
He loved every minute of it.
Millsap scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter Friday night, when the Jazz overcame a brutal start and rallied for an 87-80 victory over Phoenix at U.S. Airways Arena.
Millsap has rarely been better than he was against the Suns, who made 16 of their first 20 shots before turning as icy as the winter weather in Utah.
Leading 36-25, Phoenix eventually found itself trailing, 87-70, with six minutes remaining.
It was a startling about-face and Millsap was in the middle of everything.
Along with his points and 10 rebounds, he contributed five steals, including four in the fourth quarter.
“Paul was just determined to play — and play hard,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “As a result, he had a great game. I thought he was the key to the game for us — his energy, his energy on the defensive end.”
Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 21 points, including 10 in the third quarter, when Utah started to pull away.
Jefferson, however, agreed that Millsap’s play was critical to a victory that helped the Jazz even their record at 17-17.
“I don’t remember one game where Paul has played [so] well and we lost,” Jefferson said. “I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but not many. …
“I’ve led many games in scoring and we have lost a few. But when Paul is playing well — the way he played tonight — we don’t lose many. So it was great to see.”Next Page »