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Utah Jazz fall to Phoenix Suns, 87-84
Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye, right, battles Utah Jazz forwards Enes Canter, left, and Derrick Favor (15) for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Phoenix Suns' Gerald Green, right,  fouls Utah Jazz forward Richard Jefferson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Phoenix Suns Eric Bledsoe, left, defends against Utah Jazz guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek calls a play against the Utah Jazz during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee, left, knocks the ball away from Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Phoenix Suns' Gerald Green (14) defends against Utah Jazz forward Derreck Favors during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Phoenix Suns' Alex Len, right, and Markieff Morris, left, collide with Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Phoenix • Eric Bledsoe dribbled, watched the clock tick down, waited.

Gordon Hayward sagged off the Suns guard just a little, anticipating the speedy Bledsoe may try to slash to the rim for the game-winner, as Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek would later say was the play call.

Instead, Bledsoe raised up and fired over the Jazz defender, hitting a 3-pointer that electrified the crowd at U.S. Airways Center on Friday night, and gave Utah its second straight loss to open the season.

"I gave him too much, I guess," Hayward said after the 87-84 defeat.

The first meeting between Hornacek, an assistant with the Jazz from 2011-13, and his old team was an ugly one.

The Suns lacked energy, giving up 22 offensive rebounds. The Jazz, meanwhile, turned the ball over more than 20 times and missed 10 free throws for a second straight game, resulting in another 3-point defeat.

Story continues below

"Mistakes cost you games, especially on the road," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said.

Before the game, Hornacek joked he might confuse the game with a practice.

Many times as the Utah Jazz scrimmaged over the last three years, it had been his job to coach the team’s youngsters. Friday night, he watched his former pupils — Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks — get the Jazz to the brink of victory before coming up just short.

"These guys are all great players, and to watch them go from their rookie years to where they’re at now, except for when we play them, it’s exciting to watch," Hornacek said.

For the second time in as many games, the Jazz took the game down to the wire.

After watching his buzzer-beating effort rim out on opening night, Hayward hit a 3-pointer to tie things up with 16 seconds left.

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Turnovers, bad free-throw shooting and Bledsoe’s clutch finish doom Jazz on the road.

At a glance

Storylines

O Eric Bledsoe scores the Suns’ final 14 points, including a game-winning 3-pointer.

» The Jazz commit 21 turnovers and make only 17 of 27 free-throw attempts.

MORE COVERAGE » Gordon Hayward says he has no hard feelings toward the Jazz about not reaching contract extension Thursday night. > D4

Rockets at Jazz

Saturday, 7 p.m.

TV » ROOT

About the Jazz » Fourth-year swingman Gordon Hayward and the Jazz couldn’t agree to an extension before Thursday’s deadline, but Hayward is still the team’s leader.

About the Rockets » The summer’s biggest acquisition, Dwight Howard, seems to be back in form; he grabbed 26 rebounds in his Houston debut.

» See Scoreboard for Friday night’s box score > D7


 
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