Suns beat Jazz behind career night from Marcus Morris
PHOENIX -- Usually, Markieff is the Morris twin making the big shots for the Phoenix Suns.
On Friday night, it was brother Marcus' turn.
"He was unstoppable," Markieff said.
Marcus scored 34 points, his career high by nine, and grabbed 12 rebounds, also a career best, in the Suns' 100-93 victory over the Utah Jazz.
"I can't tell the difference between them," Utah's Derrick Favors said. "Both of them are good players, it was just his night."
Marcus made his first five shots and had 24 points, one shy of his career high, by halftime after a torrid turn off the bench late in the first quarter and throughout the second, making 5 of 6 3-pointers in the first half.
"A couple of shots early on I felt like I had a good rhythm," he said.
Eric Bledsoe added 15 points for the Suns, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Coming off a blowout loss at Portland Thursday night, Phoenix took the lead for good with a 17-2 run to end the first half.
"I didn't play too much (against Portland) so I had a lot of energy," Marcus Morris said. "We got back late but it's really not an excuse because a lot of teams do that."
Gordon Hayward scored 24 and Derrick Favors 20 for the Jazz, losers of five of six. Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Utah.
Morris scored 11 in just over five minutes on the court in the first quarter, then got 13 in the second.
"Marcus Morris got hot and just accelerated the whole process," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "That was the story of the game."
Phoenix was 14 of 27 on 3s, led by Marcus' 5 for 7.
"That was kind of the theme for us tonight," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "Shoot it with confidence and if you need to talk a little junk, go ahead -- something to get yourself going."
The Suns started out listless after arriving from Portland at 4 a.m. Then Marcus Morris entered the game and the Suns woke up for a 13-2 run to end the first quarter, then pulled away with that 17-2 outburst.
"He kind of lifted the whole team when he was making it," Hornacek said.
Early in the third quarter, the Jazz crept within five, 59-54, but Bledsoe sank a 3 and hit Miles Plumlee with a half-court pass above the rim, and the Suns led 64-54.
Trey Burke's 3-pointer with 25.9 seconds left sliced Phoenix's lead to 76-71 entering the fourth quarter. Utah got no closer after that.
Isaiah Thomas opened the fourth-quarter with a 3-pointer and Utah never got closer than six again.
Markieff Morris scored, then Marcus made a fast-break layup after a turnover and Phoenix led 90-77.
Chris Johnson's 3-pointer reduced Phoenix's lead to 94-88 with 1:10 to go before P.J. Tucker's 3-pointer sealed it.
Jazz: Utah won the only other matchup with Phoenix, 118-91 in Salt Lake City on Nov. 1. ... The only win for the Jazz in the last six games was at home against Golden state, the team with the best record in the Western Conference. ... Utah missed six of its first seven free throws.
Suns: C Alex Len sat out the game (sprained right ankle) and probably will miss Tuesday's game against Houston, the Suns' last before All-Star break. ... Suns are 4-8 in the second of back-to-back games.
Jazz: are at Sacramento on Saturday night.
Suns: don't play until Tuesday, at home against Houston.