By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Phoenix Suns ripped the Utah Jazz in another Western Conference showdown to end the first week of the NBA season on a high note, 126-104, last October 29, 2023.
Despite the absence of their dynamic backcourt duo of Devin Booker and Bradley Beal for the second straight time, the Suns rallied behind their balanced attack as six of their players entered the double-digit scoring column.
Led by scoring machine Kevin Durant who dropped 26 points in just 29 minutes of action, Phoenix showed their depth and the ability to defend the perimeter against the high-octane Jazz squad.
Durant shot an efficient 8/11 from the field and cashed in nine perfect shots from the charity stripe alongside seven assists and four rebounds.
The former NBA scoring champion kicked off Phoenix’s offensive blitz in the opening quarter and was backstopped by Eric Gordon who went hot in the first half.
Gordon scored all of his 21 points alone in the first two quarters and chipped in four dimes and two rebounds in the huge win.
Other players who reached the double-digit scoring mark were Grayson Allen with 17, Drew Eubanks and Jordan Goodwin with 12, and Jusuf Nurkic with 10 points.
Phoenix out-assisted Utah by five and recorded a total of 31 dimes, a proof of their improved ball movement under the system of new head coach Frank Vogel.
The Suns took over in the first three quarters, hiking their biggest lead of the ball game at 33 points before the Jazz made some run in the final seven minutes of the fourth.
Despite Utah racking up the points, Phoenix still got the last laugh after burying timely buckets that officially fended off Jazz’s comeback attempt.
Phoenix will have the chance to improve their record to 4-1 as they challenge Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs on November 1, 2023.