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Booker scores 25, Suns overwhelm Jazz for 106-95 victory

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker drives to the basket as Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (10) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Devin Booker had 25 points and seven assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 106-95 victory over the Utah Jazz for their first 4-1 start since 2009. Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder added 16 points apiece for the Suns. The Suns had six players score in double figures and never trailed over the final three quarters while shooting 51.5% from 3-point range. Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Mike Conley chipped in 16 points. The Jazz are 0-2 at home to start the 2020-21 season.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Devin Booker had 25 points and seven assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 106-95 victory over the Utah Jazz on Thursday night for their first 4-1 start since 2009.

Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder added 16 points apiece for the Suns. The Suns had six players score in double figures and never trailed over the final three quarters while shooting 51.5% from 3-point range.

Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Mike Conley chipped in 16 points. The Jazz are 0-2 at home to start the 2020-21 season.

Cold shooting from the Jazz allowed the Suns to surge ahead in the second quarter. Utah missed 13 shots in the quarter and shot just 39.5% from the field overall before halftime.

Phoenix used a 7-0 run capped by Chris Paul’s fadeaway jumper to seize a 30-24 lead. The Suns extended their lead to 48-33 late in the second quarter behind a flurry of baskets from Cameron Payne. He drove for a reverse layup and made a pair of 3-pointers to fuel the bulk of a 16-4 run that gave Phoenix a double-digit advantage. Jae Crowder also scored a pair of baskets to aid the run.

Utah whittled a 13-point deficit down to three points early in the third quarter. Conley sparked a 16-6 run with back-to-back pullup 3-pointers. Gobert punctuated it with a running dunk that cut the Suns’ lead to 59-56.

Bridges kept the Jazz at arm’s length with his outside shooting. He hit back-to-back 3-pointers to end Utah’s run and sank another two minutes later to boost Phoenix’s lead to 70-62.

Phoenix scored on three straight possessions to end the quarter and kick-start a 16-2 run. Cameron Johnson made three baskets during the run, culminating in a jumper that put the Suns up 91-70 early in the fourth quarter.

Utah cut a 21-point, fourth-quarter deficit to 98-93 on Conley’s 3-pointer with 2:07 left. Mitchell and Conley combined to score on five straight possessions to get the Jazz back into the game, but Utah could draw no closer.

TIP INS

Suns: Deandre Ayton finished with a team-high nine rebounds. Paul led the Suns with eight assists. ... Phoenix scored 34 bench points over the final three quarters after the second unit went scoreless in the first quarter.

Jazz: Jordan Clarkson got whistled for a technical foul in the second quarter after dribbling into a referee and shoving him following a turnover. Bojan Bogdanovic went 0-of-5 from the field. Utah scored 18 points off 15 turnovers.

UP NEXT

Suns: At Denver on Friday.

Jazz: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

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