Salt Lake City, UT – Al Jefferson recorded a double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds on Saturday to lead the Utah Jazz to a 94-81 victory over the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena.
Paul Millsap donated a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards, while Jamaal Tinsley handed out 14 assists without scoring a point for the Jazz, who improved to 3-0 as the hosts this season.
"It always feels good to win a game," Tinsley said. "It doesn't matter if I have two or three assists."
Luis Scola scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Jared Dudley chipped in 16 points in the setback, snapping the Suns' two-game win streak.
"Just another bad start," Suns coach Alvin Gentry lamented. "We keep digging ourselves holes and then try to dig our way out of it, and you can't do that, especially on the road."
Utah led by as many as 22 in the third after a Derrick Favors dunk, but the Suns caught fire to get themselves back in the game.
Shannon Brown buried a 3-pointer to spark a 19-2 surge that bridged the third and fourth quarters and brought the visitors within 79-74 with 5:24 left in the contest.
The Jazz were able to quell the run with seven straight points, including a corner trey from Marvin Williams to take an 86-74 advantage with just over three minutes remaining.
Phoenix countered with five straight less than a minute later, but Jefferson and Millsap connected on back-to-back buckets to give the home team an 11- point advantage with just over a minute remaining.
The Jazz jumped on Phoenix early, as a three-point play from Williams gave Utah an 18-7 advantage just past the midpoint of the first.
The home team held a 29-19 lead after the opening 12 minutes and scored the first six points of the second to build a 35-19 margin.
The Suns responded with an 11-2 swing to trim the deficit to seven, which is where it stood after Richard Jefferson's floating jumper with 33.1 seconds left in the half sent the Jazz into the locker room with a 50-43 advantage.
A Goran Dragic 3-pointer brought the Suns within six early in the third, but the Jazz blew the game open with a 21-7 surge and held a 73-53 advantage with 3:44 remaining.
Dragic finished with 13 points and six assists ... Utah shot 48.7 percent from the field, but made just 2-of-14 from 3-point range ... Phoenix turned 18 Utah turnovers into 16 points ... Williams tallied 13 points and seven rebounds.