The Phoenix Suns have really struggled against the Utah Jazz this season

first_imgPHOENIX — The Utah Jazz found out Friday night that they can’t look past any team in their quest to make the NBA playoffs.They needed a second-half rally to stave off Minnesota at home Friday night and will try not to overlook the Phoenix Suns Sunday afternoon (4 p.m.) at Talking Stick Resort Arena.The Suns have the third-worst record in the NBA at 20-55 after losing to Washington Friday night at home. While every Utah game is a must-win if the Jazz are to make the playoffs, and even though coach Quin Snyder calls it “a very tough game,” Sunday’s game certainly comes in the “should-win” category.Just two and a half weeks ago, the Jazz beat the Suns by 34 points, the second-largest margin of defeat for Phoenix in a year of several big losses. In the other meetings between the two teams this year, Utah won by 21 at home in December and won 98-89 in February in Arizona.The Suns come into the game on a five-game losing streak and losers of seven of their last 10. Two of their wins came against the lowly L.A. Lakers while the other was against Minnesota. The last Suns win over a winning team came against Memphis on March 6.After Sunday’s game, the Jazz have a pair of tough home games against two of the West’s best teams, San Antonio Tuesday and the L.A. Clippers Friday.SCOREBOARD WATCHING: Not that it should make a difference in how they play, but by the time they tip off Sunday, the Jazz should know how each of their two main rivals in the West playoff race fared earlier in the day.Dallas, which is tied with Utah at 38-38, plays at Minnesota at 1:30 p.m. MT, while Houston, which is a game behind the Jazz at 37-39, plays host to Oklahoma City at the same time.LACK OF TRUST: After four and a half seasons playing for Phoenix, Markieff Morris was traded in February to Washington. He had demanded a trade after his brother, Marcus, was traded in the offseason from Phoenix and in December he was suspended for two games for throwing a towel at head coach Jeff Hornacek.Friday night, Morris made his first trip back to Phoenix since being traded and just happened to have his best game since joining the Wizards, scoring 21 points, getting nine rebounds and blocking four shots in a 106-99 Washington victory.When asked about his time in Phoenix, Morris said, “I always felt free to play. It was just tough to do certain things with no trust and play for people that you really don’t trust.”JAZZ NOTES: Derrick Favors, who was injured in Wednesday night’s loss to Golden State and sat out Friday’s Minnesota game with an ankle injury, is questionable for Sunday’s game . . . If Favors can’t go, rookie Trey Lyles is expected to start in his place . . . With 10 points and 14 rebounds, Rudy Gobert had his 19th double-double of the season and his 35th game with 10 or more rebounds . . . Gobert ranks sixth in the league in rebounding at 11.2 rpg . . . Gobert also ranks third in the NBA in blocked shots at 2.23 per game, behind Hassan Whiteside and DeAndre Jordan. Favors ranks 19th at 1.47 bpg.last_img read more