SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – With the NBA trade deadline looming, the Jazz played like a distracted team for three quarters against the lowly Phoenix Suns.
But then they took over in the fourth, and the game was over.
Donovan Mitchell led seven players in double figures with 21 points, as Utah won for the 11th time in their last 14 games, 116-88.
Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Joe Ingles went for 15 points and 11 assists as the Jazz handed the Suns, who were playing without leading scorer Devin Booker, its 12th straight loss.
“We’ve played against teams that have had their star player out before and it hasn’t really gone well,” Mitchell said. “So we made it a point for us in this game especially to kind of go in and not take them lightly. They’re a good team. They have good players. Obviously, their record doesn’t show that but they can hoop.”
Josh Jackson matched his season high with 27 points for the Suns, and DeAndre Ayton had 20 points and nine rebounds. But Phoenix committed 22 turnovers.
Ricky Rubio and Derrick Favors have been at the center of trade rumors, but both players played pretty well in what could be their last game in a Jazz uniform.
Rubio had 13 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, while Favors scored 14 points.
Jae Crowder scored 10 of his 11 points in the first half as the Jazz took a 10-point lead into the break.
But behind Jackson and Ayton, the Suns cut the lead down to four at 75-71. But the Jazz took over after that, outscoring the Suns 41-17 the rest of the way for the victory. Utah led by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter.
“Offensively, we just settled down,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “We made some careless plays where we weren’t able to convert on some good defensive possessions and in the second half, we made the extra pass. There was that one stretch we were getting some good looks because we were passing the ball.”
The Jazz next host San Antonio Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.