Suns go for second straight win overall, fifth straight home in in series with short-handed Jazz.
By ASSOCIATED PRESSFS Arizona
Suns' Luis Scola doesn't know how long it will last, but he's hoping to stay in the groove. The forward will try to add to his resurgence Friday night while leading the Suns to a fifth consecutive home win in their series with the short-handed
Scola was averaging 11.7 points -- his fewest since his 2007-08 rookie season -- through the first 30 games, but he's awakened from that slump in the past week. He is averaging 26.0 points on 57.9 percent shooting over the last three games, and he had a team-best 21 when Phoenix (12-21) snapped a six-game skid Wednesday with a 95-89 home win over Philadelphia.
"I feel like I'm in a better rhythm. I'm playing with more confidence and I know my teammates better. It took me a little time but I'm happy with the way things are going now. I just need to keep it going," Scola said. "There's one thing you learn in the NBA: things change so quickly that you can never get relaxed. You need to find a way to keep doing what you're doing."
Scola will try to keep things going while helping the Suns earn back-to-back victories for the first time since a season-high four-game win streak from Dec. 12-19. Phoenix will try to accomplish that feat while sending Utah (16-17) to its eighth loss in 11 games and fourth in its last five on the road.
The Jazz are coming off a lopsided 106-84 win over Minnesota on Wednesday, but they had the comfort of playing on their own floor where they're 10-4. Utah, 6-13 on the road, will play five of its next six games away from Salt Lake City and won't have Mo Williams to help.
The starting point guard, averaging 12.9 points and 6.7 assists, will be out for at least another six weeks after surgery for an injured right thumb.
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "This is who we have and we have to figure out how we can be as good as we can with this group right now."
The Jazz would love to start showing their potential by earning their first win in Phoenix since March 4, 2010. They lost 99-84 there Dec. 14 as the Suns' Jared Dudley scored 22 points to pace five players in double figures.
Scola wasn't one of those players. He finished with just four points on 2-of-8 shooting.
With 14 points and 11 rebounds, Al Jefferson was the top scorer for Utah, which shot 40.2 percent and was 3 of 11 from 3-point range.
The Jazz beat the Suns 94-81 at home Nov. 10 as Jefferson had 27 points and 14 rebounds. Scola had a team-best 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns, but they shot just 36.8 percent and were 4 of 16 from beyond the arc.
Dudley, who has combined for 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting in the last two games, is averaging 16.8 points on 56.9 percent shooting in his past five meetings with Utah.