Kevin Durant scores 31 points, Bradley Beal adds 30 in Suns' 129-115 victory over Jazz

Phoenix Suns' Kevin Durant (35) and Drew Eubanks (14) high-five during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Phoenix Thursday, Jan. 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

PHOENIX (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Bradley Beal had 30 and the Phoenix Suns — with All-Star Devin Booker sidelined by a sore left hip — beat the Utah Jazz 129-115 on Thursday night.

The Suns never trailed, winning their third straight game and 12th of 15. They also swept the four-game, regular-season series from the Jazz.

It was an offensive showcase for the Suns, who shot nearly 60% from the field, had 37 assists to just 12 turnovers and scored 30 fast-break points, hitting the Jazz with waves of offense, particularly in the first half.

“Our whole team is sharing the basketball,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said. “We want to become a team-first team. We’ve got elite scorers, we’ve got elite individual talent, but I love how we’re playing together.”

Lauri Markkanen led Utah with 22 points, while John Collins had 21 and Collin Sexton 19.

Phoenix jumped out to a 40-28 lead in the first quarter, with Durant scoring 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The Suns settled for a 75-66 halftime lead.

Utah cut it to 81-78 early in the third but Phoenix used a 13-0 run — highlighted by 3-pointers from Gordon and Beal — to regain control. The Suns built a 109-90 lead by the end of the third quarter and never trailed in the fourth, keeping a double-digit margin throughout.

“Cut it to three and then after that, we just had some possessions were we took a few bad shots, a couple of turnovers and it allowed them to play against an unset defense,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “It was another night where, in those moments, we never got a break with them just missing one. They did a great job of capitalizing on those moments.”

Gordon scored 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, Jusuf Nurkic had 16 points and eight rebounds, and Grayson Allen added eight points and a career-high 14 assists.

Allen nearly doubled his previous career high of eight assists. The sixth-year player is known for his 3-point shooting, but with Booker on the bench, he was more of a ballhandler against the Jazz.

“We’ve had guys in and out of the lineup all season, so we kind of understand our roles when guys are out,” Durant said. “It’s a next-man-up mentality in this league.”

Earlier Thursday, the Suns re-tooled their bench at the trade deadline, adding Royce O’Neale from the Brooklyn and David Roddy from Memphis, but neither was available on Thursday. Utah also made a pair of moves, adding Kevin Knox II, Kira Lewis Jr. and Otto Porter Jr., who were also unavailable.


Jazz: Host Golden State on Monday.

Suns: Travel to Golden State on Saturday.


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