Utah Jazz instant analysis: Utah's balanced attack sinks the Suns
Gordon Hayward will get that triple-double someday. While he came one assist short, he led a very impressive, balanced attack. With everyone involved, the Utah Jazz soundly defeated the Phoenix Suns 109-86.
The Jazz saw seven players reach double figures, with no one scoring more than 17. After some first-quarter spurts, the game was never in doubt. Utah stretched the lead continually as the game progressed, winning each of the four quarters by at least three points.
Hayward, Utah’s talented swingman and the team’s leading scorer, had a well-rounded game with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. He has had similar stat lines several times this season, flirting with the elusive triple-double. That individual achievement will remain elusive, at least for one more game.
Utah won its second consecutive game and had its fifth victory in eight outings. The Jazz also moved closer to a .500 record at EnergySolutions Arena, moving to a 14-16 home mark.
Garrett’s game: With rookie Trey Burke injured to start the season, Utah sent out a point guard platoon of John Lucas III and Jamaal Tinsley. It would be an understatement to say that this rotation did not work. Before long, Tinsley was waived and a guard named Diante Garrett was picked up. A relative unknown in November, Garrett’s game is making him a household name for Jazz fans.
Garrett has had his moments since he was inked, and several weeks ago he assumed the primary backup role behind Burke. Wednesday was one of the best games of his career, as the lanky point guard connected on 6-of-9 shots. He also drained three 3-pointers while tallying two assists, two steals and two rebounds in 21 minutes. Garrett is teaming up with Burke to be a very solid and improving tandem.
Odds and ends:
• Former Jazz player and assistant coach Jeff Hornacek was without a cadre of contributors — Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Leandro Barbosa and Emeka Okafor. He did enjoy strong performances from fill-ins Ish Smith and Archie Goodwin.
• Every single Jazzman who saw time sported a positive +/- mark. Conversely, all but one Phoenix player was on the negative side of things, with the last one being even.
• Phoenix guard Dionte Christmas had seven points and three assists off the bench. Christmas played for Utah’s summer league squad.
• After averaging 22.7 points and 9.0 rebounds over his three recent starts, Enes Kanter had just two points in 16 minutes.
David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also writes for Salt City Hoops (ESPN's Jazz affiliate). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.
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