SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz began a four-game homestand with a dominant, entertaining 125-92 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night at Vivint Arena, despite a record-breaking night from Devin Booker.
Here are four takeaways from the win that moved the Jazz up in the Western Conference standings.
- Rudy Gobert paced the Jazz effort with 27 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots, as Utah shot 55.8 percent from the field. Ricky Rubio and Derrick Favors added 18 points each as all five Jazz starters scored in double figures. Utah forced Phoenix into 22 turnovers, and the Jazz scored 34 points off those turnovers.
- Booker had a night to remember, even in a loss. The fourth-year pro scored 59 points to set the arena record for points by a single player in a game, breaking the record previously set by Karl Malone. It’s also the most points by an opposing player in Salt Lake City. Booker made 19 of 34 shots from the field, 5 of 8 from 3-point range and hit 16 of 17 free throws, while also scoring 20 points in the third quarter.
- Utah took control with a 14-0 run over four minutes in the second quarter that included eight consecutive empty possessions for the Suns. The Jazz extended it to a 19-2 run to make it 45-25 for the team’s first 20-point lead of the night.
- Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette returned to Utah in his second game with Phoenix. He had a rough night until late, scoring six points while shooting 1 of 10 from the field and 0 of 5 from 3-point range. His first points as a Sun came from the free-throw line, where he made 4 of 4, and he added one rebound, one steal, one assist and two turnovers.
Playoff picture: The Jazz went into the night tied with Oklahoma City, but the Thunder lost to Memphis and Utah now has a one-game edge in the standings on Oklahoma City and San Antonio with a 44-30 record. Utah is tied with the Los Angeles Clippers in fifth place in the West.
Wednesday, March 27, vs. Los Angeles Lakers (32-41), 8:30 p.m. MDT
Friday, March 29, vs. Washington Wizards (30-44), 7 p.m.
Monday, April 1, vs. Charlotte Hornets (34-39), 7 p.m.