Kevin Durant’s 39 points leads Suns past Jazz 140-137 in double overtime
By JOHN COON – Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Kevin Durant totaled 39 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to lead the Suns to a 140-137 double overtime victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.
Phoenix won its third straight and beat the Jazz for the second time in three days.
Devin Booker scored 22 of his 26 points after halftime and tallied eight assists for the Suns. Eric Gordon added 20 points, Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points, and Grayson Allen finished with 14.
“I thought we had good momentum on the whole offensive side of the ball,” Durant said. “We stayed with that throughout the fourth quarter and both overtimes.”
Lauri Markkanen finished with 38 points and 17 rebounds to lead Utah. Talen Horton-Tucker finished with 25 points, Jordan Clarkson added 22, Collin Sexton had 18 and John Collins had 15.
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Utah lost despite a 27-18 advantage in second-chance points and a 26-12 edge in free-throw points.
“There were some moments, especially late in the game, into overtime, where our execution defensively wasn’t on the weak side where we wanted it to be,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “But things happen in a game, especially when you’re at that level of fatigue.”
Durant scored back-to-back baskets and knocked down three free throws to push the Suns out to a 135-130 lead in the second overtime.
The Jazz tied it again with 58.9 seconds left. Allen hit a layup 3-pointer with 43 seconds left to keep Utah from taking the lead after regulation.
“We welcome overtime because we feel like we’re a team that should win those games,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said. “Our boys started each overtime with confidence and did enough to hold on.”
Durant was first whistled by referee Ashley Moyer-Gieich when he blocked a shot from Markkanen with less than a second left. The call would send Markkanen to the free throw line for three free throws and give him a chance to tie the game and force a third overtime.
Officials overturned the foul after a review, ruling that Durant got the ball first.
“It was ridiculous to call that,” Durant said. “I knew I blocked the shot and I knew I didn’t touch it at all. But that’s just the way the game is. It was a quick play for her, so I’m sure she wanted to review it and get the right call. I’m glad they were able to call Secaucus and get it right.”
Markkanen said he believed Durant hit him on the left hand when he made the final block and was surprised when the call was overturned.
“I thought (it was dirty),” Markkanen said.
Utah twice rallied from an 11-point deficit in the first half and trailed for most of four quarters before Markkanen tied it on a putback layup with 20.3 seconds to go in regulation to force overtime.
Suns: Host Portland on Tuesday in an NBA In-Season Tournament game.
Jazz: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday for an NBA In-Season Tournament game.
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