Utah Jazz: Trey Burke's big night leads Jazz to first road win, avenges loss to Jeff Hornacek's Suns
PHOENIX — It’s been a long, long time since Jeff Hornacek’s team has lost to the Utah Jazz.
It hasn’t been nearly as long — even if November did seem to drag on for an eternity for Jazz fans — but Utah’s last win on the road was quite some time ago, too.
Both of those seemingly unlikely events took place at US Airways Center on Saturday night.
The Jazz bounced back from Friday’s home loss to Phoenix to beat the Suns 112-104, becoming the last NBA team to pick up a road victory.
“I don’t care what floor it was on,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We just needed a win bad.”
Rookie Trey Burke hit a huge 3-pointer with just over a minute to play and scored a team-high 20 points to help the Jazz avenge their 112-101 setback at EnergySolutions Arena to the Suns the previous night.
“Just to get a road win tonight,” Burke said, “is definitely a confidence booster going into the game against Houston on Monday.”
The Jazz’s starting point guard contributed four treys, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and oodles of moxie as he continues to look more comfortable and confident in the NBA. This was his sixth game back from his month-and-a-half absence with a broken finger.
“He’s continuing to learn. It’s a tough situation for him. It’s a lot being thrown at him in a short amount of time,” Corbin said. “He missed a lot of training camp and the early part of the season, but he’s growing every night out there and we’re going to continue to help him grow.”
Growth for this 3-15 team seemed to happen overnight.
Burke credited the Jazz for bringing an improved “level of intensity” to Arizona after the blowout loss in Utah the night before when the home team trailed by as many as 20 points.
“I think we played hard yesterday, but they played harder than we did,” Burke said. “We watched film this morning and had a team meeting. We know that they’re a really good transition team, so we tried to get back early on so they could see Jazz jerseys.”
That improved defensive intensity worked, even if Phoenix ended up scoring 104 points. The Suns shot 47.4 percent from the field Saturday after shredding the ESA nets Friday at a 54.7 percent clip.
Utah’s offense, led by Burke, also improved as seven players totaled at least 12 points in Utah's highest-scoring game of the season. The Jazz had only surpassed the century mark in two contests, including their previous high in a 111-105 win over New Orleans.
“We said it from the start of the game, ‘You can’t give them life,’” Suns coach Hornacek said. “You come back from winning (Friday) night and I think they thought they were good. Our guys thought they could just show up (Saturday) and win the game, and in this game it doesn’t happen that way. But they don’t want to listen to it. Coaches are telling them they have to be ready and that’s what happens.”
That was one playing-like-they-were-wearing-tuxedos reference short of being a Jerry Sloan quote.
Utah had already lost once in the Valley of the Sun this season, falling 87-84 on Nov. 1. That was the first of a long string of consecutive setbacks away from home, a rough stretch that included blowout defeats in Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Oakland, New Orleans, Dallas and Oklahoma City.
The Jazz hadn’t won outside of Utah, going back to a 96-80 victory in the second-to-last game of the 2012-13 season in Minnesota.
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