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.
"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.Next Page »