Utah Jazz guard Ronnie Brewer tied his career highs in both points (21), and rebounds (6) by the end of the third quarter in 32 minutes of play, and he ended Thursday night's game like that, never having to go back in as the Jazz ran away from the very short-handed Phoenix Suns 108-86.
Brewer, picked as the player of the game by TNT, which nationally broadcast the game that started some 90 minutes later than normal.
Brewer said it was all right with him that he didn't get to advance his career numbers by playing in the fourth quarter, and he was disappointed with himself for not getting many deflections one of his specialties.
Brewer, who had "one or two" deflections Thursday, had started the game just four behind teammate Andrei Kirilenko, who leads the Jazz with 238.
And point guard Deron Williams, who was strong in his praise of the second-year player, said he wants the long-armed, athletic 6-foot-7 Brewer to get more rebounds.
"Deron always says I should do more," said Brewer, "but it's hard out there when you've got Booz (power forward Carlos Boozer) and Memo (Okur, the center) pushing you around when you're trying to get the rebound. They told me I was getting too many rebounds, so I was trying to lay off a little bit," Brewer joked.
"He played great tonight," Williams said. "Ronnie was everywhere tonight. You know, putbacks, he shot the ball well, he slashed to the basket, he finished, hit free throws.
"It was a great game for him on a national stage, and I feel good for him that he got that exposure because people need to see him."
Brewer made nine of his 14 shots and all three of his free throws.
Brewer's career-high of 21 was set in 33 minutes at Golden State near the tail end of the regular season last April 9. He made 7-of-9 on field goals in that game.
His 2007-08 season-highs were 19 points at Atlanta Dec. 17 and the six rebounds his career best he got at New York Nov. 26.
Brewer had only scored in double figures (11 points) twice in his last five games, but he had 18 points and five boards at the Los Angeles Lakers Dec. 28, shooting 9-for-14 in that one, too.
Most of Brewer's baskets Thursday came going to the basket, either dunks, dunks off lob passes, rebound baskets or plain old layups.
He had an 11-point, five-rebound first half, then scored 10 more in the third quarter, including a sky-high alley-oop dunk from Williams with seven minutes left. The Jazz followed that with a 21-foot jumper from Okur 21 seconds later as Utah began pulling away again. Phoenix had cut Utah's 13-point lead just into the third period to eight, but Brewer's two quick baskets made it 13 again, and when he made two free throws at 4:11, it elevated to 17.
" Any time you get a play like that, it's a momentum-builder," said Williams. "The crowd gets behind you, they like plays like that, and it's kind of a little backbreaker because they're coming back, coming back, and then we have a play that kind of offsets their momentum. We were able to get our composure back and go on a run of our own."
"With D-Will," said Brewer, "you've always got to move and have your eyes on him because he can find you anywhere, and in this offense with Booz and Memo, they open the lane so much that I saw an opportunity to go for a lob. D-Will's a great point guard and put it right on the money, and I went up and got it."Brewer made it a 19-point lead when Williams made a steal in Phoenix's forecourt and head-manned to Brewer for a fast-break slam at 2:30, and he made it 26 points with a 16-footer off the right baseline from Kyle Korver to tie his career high.
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