PHOENIX — Derrick Favors wasn’t expected to play for the Jazz Sunday after injuring his right knee in the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against Golden State and sitting out Friday against Minnesota.
Ninety minutes before Sunday’s game at Phoenix, Utah coach Quin Snyder was talking like Favors wouldn’t play and how the Jazz would be smaller against the Suns’ two seven-foot starters, Alex Len and Tyson Chandler.
However, a few minutes later, the Jazz announced that Favors would be playing after all.
Favors, who missed 16 games earlier this year with back issues, ended up playing very well, scoring 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting in 28 minutes and helping the Jazz to their 15-point victory.
“I had a little pain, something I have to fight through because we’re in the playoff race,” Favors said. “My mindset is to go out there and do whatever it takes, whether it’s scoring or defense . . . being vocal. Every game now is important for us.”
Snyder praised Favors’ play Sunday afternoon, despite having soreness in his knee.
“We need him out there and he’s one of our key guys,” he said. “This is the time of year to play through some bumps and bruises and that’s what he did. His minutes were really big, because (the Suns) are big. He and Rudy (Gobert) were able to complement each other.”
PRICE STILL GOING: Former Jazzman and Utah Valley star Ronnie Price has been around the NBA, playing for six different franchises in 11 years.
He’s in his second stint in Phoenix after playing here in 2011-12, the year after he left the Jazz and has been pressed into starting duty lately due to an injury to Brandon Knight.
Phoenix coach Earl Watson was a teammate of Price’s in Utah and loves having him on his team.
“He has resilience, character and knows how to deal with adversity — no one expected him to last this long,” Watson said.
Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder says he’s never crossed paths with Price in his many stops in the NBA but knows all about him.
“He’s such a respected and popular guys within our organization,” he said. “I have lots of respect for what he’s done with his career both professionally and personally and I always look forward to seeing him.”
Alas, Price didn’t have a great game Sunday, finishing with just two points and three assists in 32 minutes of play
WHITE SHOES: Watson credits former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan for much of his success in the NBA and he tries to emulate his former coach in many ways.
“I find myself still making sure I wear white shoes on the court,” he said. “This is the first year I actually wore different colored shoes to practice. That was one of coach Sloan’s biggest rules — everybody wears the same colored shoes.”
PLEISS IS BACK: The Jazz are recalling center Tibor Pleiss from the Idaho Stampede for the fifth time this season.
Pleiss was last assigned to the Stampede on Feb. 24 and is expected to re-join the team Monday in Salt Lake. In 12 games for the Jazz this season, the 7-foot-3 center has averaged 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game.
In 28 games, all starts, in Idaho, Pleiss averaged 12.3 points on 58.3 percent shooting, 10.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 31.5 minutes per game. Pleiss finished the season ranked third in the D-League in rebounds per game.
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz return home to play San Antonio and Los Angeles Clippers, Tuesday and Friday, respectively . . . With the win, the Jazz swept the season series with the Suns 4-0 for only the second time in history, the first coming in 1999-2000 . . . The temperature outside at tipoff was 88 degrees . . . This marked the 14th time in 16 games the Jazz have held their opponent under 100 points. The Jazz are 33-11 in such games.