Sad News: Utah jazz Report Phoenix Suns Coach and VAR Review three unallocated act in last game….

The Utah Jazz squared off with the Phoenix Suns twice over the weekend, losing both battles by three. Despite the losses, the Jazz showed a lot of competitive spirit and played with a sense of urgency, offensive explosiveness, and energy that hadn’t been seen for a full 48 minutes quite yet in this season. Let’s recap and digest some major takeaways from the pair of Jazz-Suns contests.

Recaps: Three Is The Magic Number… Twice

Those were two of the best, truly competitive losses to watch, with the Jazz losing by three in each game. But, man, that was fun. It was probably fun because the Jazz played up to their potential, showing significant growth from early season woes. This is a season that may be best graded based on growth, and Jazz coach Will Hardy sees plenty. “I think we’re improving,” Hardy told the Athletic. “I think the way we played these two games against the Suns shows we’re improving.”

On Friday, the Jazz turned the courts purple to take on the Suns first for the In-Season Tournament. Suns superstar Kevin Durant couldn’t quite miss, going off for 38 points on 15-22 shooting as well as 6-8 from deep. None seemed bigger than a pull-up triple with 18 seconds left that effectively put the game away. The Suns clung to a 126-125 lead going into that possession, but even with a hand in his face, Durant’s bucket was nothing but splash to give the Suns a 4-point lead that would essentially ice the game. For the Jazz, Jordan Clarkson went off for 37 points, including a big three of his own down the stretch, while the other JC (John Collins) had a big double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. The whole team played lights out, especially in the first half as the score went 75-75 after the first 24 minutes. The loss put the Jazz at 2-1 in their Group A tournament standings, sitting now in second place. The Lakers won on Friday night, giving them a 3-0 lead in the standings with a +14 point differential as they sit in the top spot. The two will square off in a TNT-televised battle in Los Angeles on Tuesday, which will essentially decide the group’s champion.

For the second matchup with Phoenix, the Jazz flipped the court back to regular hardwood and hosted the Suns on Sunday, the team’s first regular season Sunday game since 2001. Just like the first matchup, the teams went back and forth in a high-scoring affair that didn’t end until extra basketball was ordained from on high. To end regulation, Lauri Markkanen soared for a rebound after a Clarkson miss, then added the putback with 20 seconds left to tie the game at 115. Devin Booker had a decent look from the wing from three to win the game, but Ochai Agbaji put a hand in his face, and the shot bounced off.

During the extra period, rookie Keyonte George’s attempt at a game-tying floater bounced off, but Collin Sexton beat Eric Gordon on the box out and had a clean layup at the buzzer to send the battle into the second overtime, tied 127-127. The Jazz never led in either overtime period, but Markkanen had a chance to tie with a corner three that would have forced triple OT. Durant challenged the attempt, but was called for a foul at the buzzer. After a Suns challenge and a five-minute review, the call was overturned, with referee Zach Zarba explaining that because Durant got ball first, the other contact is incidental. It was a controversial call, but it ended the game for the Suns to take a 140-137 victory. Markkanen, to his credit, played one of his best games in a Jazz jersey, scoring 38 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.

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