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Utah Jazz: Defense overwhelmed against Suns' dynamic guards
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It was Goran Dragic in the first half.

The Phoenix Suns point guard scored 17 of his 19 points in those initial two quarters, terrorizing the Utah Jazz guards off the dribble and creating easy offense for his team.

Eric Bledsoe picked it up in the second half.

Jeff Hornacek's other young guard came off the bench and dropped another 19 points — with the Jazz pretty much giving him a free lane to the basket anytime he wanted.

In what turned out to be a 112-101 Phoenix win at EnergySolutions Arena, a bunch of 3-point shooting, a healthy dose of Markieff Morris and Tyrone Corbin shaking his head wedged in between.

And through the points, the early offense and the Suns sky-high field goal percentage, one thing remained a constant.

The Jazz played little effective defense in making Hornacek's return to Salt Lake City as smooth a trip as possible.

"They made shots," Corbin said. "They got what they wanted. They had us spread out, they drove the middle and they got the ball where they wanted to in the initial part of the offense. We didn't give our best effort tonight, I didn't think."

Phoenix shot 54.7 percent from the field, and a whopping 63 percent in the first half. The Suns scored over 30 points in each of the first three quarters. They placed six players in double-figures and scored 46 points off the bench.

Most alarming was Phoenix being able to run off made baskets and score before the Jazz got back defensively. Corbin told his team during practice this week that the Suns specialize in that.

Yet, Utah was unable to stop it.

The Suns performance overshadowed what was a good offensive performance for the Jazz, who themselves put six players in double-figures.

"Defense is the name of the game and we didn't play it well tonight," Jazz forward Marvin Williams said. "We just couldn't get stops when we needed to and that hurt us a lot. Whenever we tried to get a big stop, it seems like they hit a shot."

tjones@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tjonessltrib —

Suns' offensive highlights

• Phoenix shoots 63 percent from the field in the first half.

• The Suns get 46 points from their bench

• Goran Dragic had 17 points and six assists by halftime

Jazz • Utah struggles to contain Phoenix's Dragic and Bledsoe.
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