Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Read more: Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns: Instant analysis
GUARDS: Devin Harris did more than just hold his own against Steve Nash and the rest of the Suns' backcourt. He produced with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. But his biggest play probably came when he drew a charge on Sebastian Telfair with 6:15 remaining as the Jazz led 82-78. Gordon Hayward didn't shoot the ball well but was otherwise outstanding. He played great defense and had two steals to go along with 11 points and eight assists. Steve Nash's stat line was similar to the last time the Suns played in Utah, but he didn't impact the game nearly as much. Shannon Brown had decent stats, but his turnovers and overall sloppy play were a detriment to Phoenix.
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap started the game on fire, making five of his first six shots. He went a little cold in the second quarter, but was one of the main reasons the Jazz are headed for the playoffs. He had 26 points and 15 rebounds. His four offensive rebounds were key. DeMarre Carroll hustled but didn't make shots. Jared Dudley had a quiet 15 points and six rebounds. Rookie Markieff Morris started for Channing Frye and didn't make anyone forget about Frye. He had just six points and four rebounds.
CENTERS: Al Jefferson showed how badly he wants to play in the playoffs. He shook off an elbow to his forehead from Hakim Warrick and a couple of stitches to finish with 18 points and 16 rebounds. He took over down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Marcin Gortat picked a bad time to play an amazingly lousy game. He may have nightmares seeing Derrick Favors blocking his shots. Favors swatted him five times in the first half.
BENCH: Favors provided energy, blocked shots and occasional offense against the Suns to lead Utah's bench. He had 13 points and 11 rebounds and tied his career-high with five blocked shots. Rookie Alec Burks had a troublesome fourth quarter, committing four fouls in first two minutes of the period. The Suns' bench, overall, outplayed Utah's as Michael Redd and Telfair kept them in the game until late in the fourth quarter.
OVERALL: The Jazz had an overall solid effort in clinching a playoff berth. Ending a seven-game losing streak against a nemesis -- with a 12-point victory -- is impressive. Millsap, Jefferson and Favors did the most to make it happen, but Utah got contributions from just about everyone available. That's what the Jazz have done all year -- played as a team -- and thats why they're back in the postseason.
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