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Hardwood Canvas » Game Recaps, News » Suns get defensive in second half, Blaze past Sloan-less Jazz 95-83

Suns get defensive in second half, Blaze past Sloan-less Jazz 95-83

Hello World!

Steve Nash and friends were not the least bit in the mood for nostalgia Friday night.  With a tenuous and unsettled Energy Solutions crowd on hand, the visiting Phoenix Suns gave the shook Jazz and their fans a half to get all the angst and built up emotions over the last 48 hours out of their system, but after that it was winning time.

Steve Nash, Marcin Gortat, and Jared Dudley

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns have won six of their last seven ball games and now stand a game over .500 for the first time since late December of 2010. (Getty Images)

Nash led the suddenly surging Suns with 18 points and 10 assists, Robin Lopez added 14 (11 coming in the third quarter) and backup power forward Hakim Warrick tallied 16 points to help a balanced Suns team beat the Jazz 95-83 from a shocked Energy Solutions Arena in frigid Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Jazz looked primed to confidently march in a new direction sans long-time Head Coach Jerry Sloan, putting up 56 first half points to the Suns’ 44.

After 23 seasons Jerry Sloan resigns in Utah, Tyrone Corbin named head coach

However, in a painfully ironic twist, winning the game required 48 minutes of solid play and the Jazz, unfortunately on this night, were unable to mount that effort throughout resulting in an unimpressive 27-point second half resulting in an untimely loss just a day after the abrupt resignation of Sloan.

All-Star Deron Williams did his best to keep his team in it, finishing with an impressive all-around effort – 19 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists, 1 steal and a block.

However this game belonged to the surprisingly physical and defensive-minded Phoenix Suns who came out in the second half engaged and determined to attack the paint with their obvious advantage down low.

Third-year man Robin Lopez had one of his better games of the season showing an aggression at the rim the Suns had been desiring to see since Amare left town.  He capped his nice effort with 14 big points, 6 rebounds and a flurry of nice finishes at the rim in the pivotal third quarter.

Recent Orlando Magic transplant Marcin Gortat continued his fine play of late notching yet another double-double for his new club.  “The Polish Hammer” as the 6-11, 240-pound center is so aptly nick-named, finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks on 6 of 10 shooting in 31 minutes of action.  (Learn more about Marcin Gortat)

Phoenix was able to win a grind-it-out style of game allowing just 83 points while only hitting 5 of 23 three-point shots on the night.  They also out-rebounded the Jazz 47-45.

For all you wonderful statheads I give you the Box Score.

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