Markkanen scores career-high 38 points, Jazz edge Suns
Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high 38 points, including an improbable turnaround jumper to beat the shot clock with 38.5 seconds…
Lauri Markkanen scored a career-high 38 points, including an improbable turnaround jumper to beat the shot clock with 38.5 seconds left, and the Utah Jazz beat the Phoenix Suns 134-133 on Friday night.
In a wildly entertaining offensive shootout, Utah’s defense made the difference down the stretch. The Suns shot 58.2% through three quarters but went 10 for 27 in the fourth period and turned the ball over in the final minute.
After scoring 45 points through three quarters, Suns star Devin Booker had just two free throws in the final quarter and an inconsequential bank shot at the buzzer to finish with 49.
Markkanen has had five 30-point games this season and scored his 38 points on just 18 field-goal attempts.
Booker marked his 19th game with at least 40 points but couldn’t get the ball or many good looks at the end. He also has 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Chris Paul missed his fifth game with a right heel injury and the Suns have gone 2-3 without him.
With 7:28 to play, Damion Lee gave the Suns their first lead of the game at 121-120 with 3-pointer. The game went back and forth until Jordan Clarkson and Markkanen made late-clock jumpers with high degrees of difficulty in clutch time.
Beasley had matched his season high of 18 points by halftime and ended up with a season-high seven 3s and 27 points. Clarkson added 20 points, and Mike Conley had 13 points and 10 assists.
Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges each scored 17 points for Phoenix, and Torrey Craig had a season-high 16 points.
The Jazz led by as many as 19 in the first half after a hot start of 10 of 12 from the field, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Utah led 74-66 at the half, marking the fourth game this season with at least 74 points at halftime.
After the Jazz surprised the league out of the gates with a 10-3 record that had them atop the Western Conference, they had lost three in a row before this stirring win against Phoenix.
Suns: Booker had 14 points, six assists, and four rebounds in the first quarter. … There were 30 fouls called in the first half, 15 on each team. … The Suns set a high of 52.5 percent the win against Golden State on Wednesday and shot 52.1 against Utah.
Jazz: Jarred Vanderbilt fouled out after tallying six points, 11 rebounds and career-high eight assists. … Utah had 32 assists. … The Jazz made 16 of their 31 3-point attempts and were 56% on all field goals.
Suns: Host New York on Sunday.
Jazz: At Portland on Saturday night.
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