Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Suns Hang on for OT Win vs. Donovan Mitchell, JazzApril 8, 2021
In a battle of the top two teams in the NBA, the Phoenix Suns came out on top.
The Suns defeated the Utah Jazz, 117-113, in overtime on Wednesday to improve to 36-14 behind 35 points from Devin Booker, who overcame a weak first quarter to lead the team.
The win puts them within reach of the top seed in the Western Conference, as they are now just a game-and-a-half back from the Jazz.
The 38-13 Jazz were led by Donovan Mitchell's 41 points but couldn't overcome their rare struggles from three.
- Donovan Mitchell, Jazz: 41 PTS, 8 REB
- Devin Booker, Suns: 35 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST
- Chris Paul, Suns: 29 PTS, 9 AST
- Bojan Bogdanovic, Jazz: 20 PTS
Mitchell Nearly Single-Handedly Saves Jazz
The Utah Jazz entered Wednesday as the top team in the NBA when it came to three-point shooting, averaging 17 three-point makes per game on 39.5 percent shooting, even after a disgraceful 111-103 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday that saw them hit just 12 of 44 attempts from deep.
Somehow, they didn't learn from their mistakes.
In the first half, the Jazz shot just 13.6 percent from three, and it wasn't for lack of trying. The team attempted 22 shots from beyond the arc. Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic were the only starters to sink one, and Jordan Clarkson was almost solely responsible for the dismal percentage, considering he only made one of his seven attempts.
By the end of the night, they averaged 25 percent from deep.
The Jazz managed to crawl back in the third quarter, with both sides trading threes late to conclude a 38-point frame for Utah, which overcame a nine-point deficit to lead by one heading into the final frame.
That lead, their first advantage since the start of the second quarter, quickly went back to Phoenix. The Jazz—namely, Mitchell—erupted on an 8-0 run through the middle of the fourth quarter.
Mitchell ended the night with a game-high 41 points as the Jazz fought back from what was once a 13-point deficit—including the tying three with 10.8 seconds to go in regulation.
He added two in the extra frame, but it wasn't enough for him to help the Jazz completely climb out of the hole.
Devin Booker Overcomes Slow Start to Lead Suns to Victory
The Suns got off to a hot start, using a 13-0 run to create space early on. Utah quickly came back, ending the first quarter with a one-point lead, and superstar Devin Booker was nowhere to be found.
Booker, who entered Wednesday averaging 25.9 points per game, was just 1-of-6 from the field with a pair of free throws in the first quarter and was responsible for all five of the team's turnovers.
He quickly got his act together in the second quarter, scoring 12 points to bring his total to a game-high 16 as the Suns pulled it together for a 51-40 lead heading into the break.
Chris Paul scored 13 points with three assists by the half.
By the end of the night, all memory of Booker's slow start was forgotten, considering he led the team with 35 points.
The Jazz started to gain steam toward the end, but the Suns didn't give up the fight, grabbing three offensive rebounds on a single possession as the clock wound down to take the lead back, 97-96, which they would hold until Mitchell's overtime-forcing three.
In the extra frame, it was Booker and Paul yet again who combined to lead the team to the win, with Booker recording seven points on his own and assisting on Paul's three that helped to drive it home.
The Jazz will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.
The Phoenix Suns will hit the road for a tilt with the Los Angeles Clippers at the same time.