PHO
UTA

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Mitchell, Gobert lead Jazz over Suns for 8th straight win

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) When Ricky Rubio was shoved to the floor twice, it didn't take long for the rest of his Utah Jazz teammates to come to his defense.

''On this team, we all love each other, so that makes it easy to stick up for each other,'' rookie Donovan Mitchell said.

Mitchell scored 23 points to lead the Jazz to a 116-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, their eighth consecutive victory.

''We have a group of guys here that put the team first and we all care about winning and defending,'' said Rudy Gobert, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Joe Ingles scored 17 points, including four 3-pointers, and Jae Crowder added 12 for the Jazz, who have won 20 of their last 22 games.

T.J. Warren paced Phoenix with 19 points while Josh Jackson had 17 and Devin Booker added 12. The Suns have lost seven in a row.

The Suns' body language showed frustration and it boiled over as the Jazz took firm control of the game.

With Utah leading 69-50 in the third quarter, Rubio was headed full speed on a fast break when Jared Dudley body-blocked him to the floor, starting a scrum in front of the Suns bench. Dudley got a flagrant 2 foul and was ejected, along with Marquese Chriss for pushing Rubio back down after Dudley's shove. Ingles and Mitchell were assessed technical fouls.

''I could understand why Marquese got ejected. That's the only one though,'' Phoenix coach Jay Triano said. ''If you're going to eject anybody else, Ingles ran in to instigate as much as anybody else did. And Mitchell. They were in there escalating rather than diffusing more than anybody. I don't think there was a foul enough to warrant a flagrant 2.''

Ingles and Mitchell disagreed, saying they just backing up their point guard.

''There is a camaraderie and a sense of brotherhood and they defend each other,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said of his team.

Rubio had 12 points and 11 assists, and Dante Exum made his first appearance of the season for the Jazz and finished with 10 points.

With 1:16 left in the first quarter, Exum entered to a loud ovation after a long rehabilitation from shoulder surgery in October.

Because of Gobert's presence, the Suns took a number of twisting high-arcing floaters and often cut short drives to the baskets. The Suns also committed 22 turnovers while struggling to get clean looks.

''(Gobert) definitely bothers a lot of shots around the basket,'' Jackson said. ''It's definitely tougher when he's out there on the floor.''

Spurred by Mitchell's two dunks and a 3-pointer in the final two minutes, the Jazz opened a 56-43 lead at halftime after trailing early in the second quarter.

TIP-INS

Suns: Booker, who injured his right hand during practice Wednesday, was a game-time decision and couldn't find much success against the Jazz. Facing a variety of defenders, Booker shot 3 for 18 and had four turnovers. ... Starters Dragan Bender and Alex Len both went scoreless in the first half.

Jazz: Crowder has led the Jazz bench in scoring in 12 of the 14 games since coming over from Cleveland in a trade. ... Utah ranks second in scoring defense and improved to 27-5 when holding opponents under the century mark.

THE EXUM FACTOR

Oft-injured point guard Dante Exum, who has played in just 149 games since he was drafted fifth in 2014, was cleared to play for the first time this season. ''He made a choice that he was going to attack it. There's been a determination ... not just to rehabilitate his shoulder, but also to stay connected mentally and stay a part of the group is something that he's (done). It would be easy to disconnect and become detached and wallow in your misery and he just didn't do that,'' Snyder said.

SCHOOL IN SESSION

Utah led by 20 in the fourth but Snyder was still coaching. While Mitchell celebrated an alley-oop to Gobert, Snyder called a timeout and charged out to mid-court to correct Mitchell's positioning a couple plays earlier. ''He wants me to understand matchups and situations,'' the rookie said. ''It's all part of the learning process ... for a coach to come out and talk to a player like that and help me out was huge.'' Mitchell wasn't embarrassed by being singled out.

UP NEXT

Suns: Host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

Jazz: Host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
D. Booker
1 SG
D. Mitchell
45 SG
32.9 Min. Per Game 32.9
19.7 Pts. Per Game 19.7
3.6 Ast. Per Game 3.6
3.6 Reb. Per Game 3.6
43.2 Field Goal % 43.7
43.6 Three Point % 43.5
87.8 Free Throw % 82.5
  Defensive rebound by Jonas Jerebko 0:10
  Davon Reed missed turnaround jump shot 0:12
  Defensive rebound by Davon Reed 0:19
  Georges Niang missed layup 0:21
  Defensive rebound by Dante Exum 0:32
  Tyler Ulis missed floating jump shot 0:34
  Defensive rebound by Dragan Bender 0:41
  Dante Exum missed floating jump shot 0:44
+ 3 Tyler Ulis made 3-pt. jump shot 0:55
+ 3 Jonas Jerebko made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Dante Exum 1:06
  Defensive rebound by Dante Exum 1:14
Team Stats
Points 88 116
Field Goals 32-83 (38.6%) 42-97 (43.3%)
3-Pointers 7-16 (43.8%) 12-36 (33.3%)
Free Throws 17-24 (70.8%) 20-32 (62.5%)
Total Rebounds 61 64
Offensive 9 14
Defensive 42 39
Team 10 11
Assists 14 29
Steals 4 12
Blocks 4 8
Turnovers 22 7
Fouls 26 20
Technicals 1 2
17 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST
12 PTS, 5 REB, 11 AST
1234T
away team logo Suns 19-51 2320232288
home team logo Jazz 39-30 20362535116
Team Stats
away team logo Suns 19-51 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Jazz 39-30 102.4 PPG 45 RPG 20.3 APG
Key Players
T. Warren SF 19.6 PPG 5.1 RPG 1.3 APG 49.8 FG%
D. Mitchell SG 20.5 PPG 3.7 RPG 3.7 APG 43.7 FG%
Top Scorers
T. Warren SF 19 PTS 6 REB 0 AST
D. Mitchell SG 23 PTS 6 REB 4 AST
38.6 FG% 43.3
43.8 3PT FG% 33.3
70.8 FT% 62.5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Warren 36 19 6 0 1 1 3 3 8/18 0/0 3/3 2 4 24 -22
D. Booker 34 12 5 2 0 0 4 3 3/18 1/4 5/5 0 5 17 -15
D. Bender 29 7 6 2 1 0 2 5 2/5 1/4 2/2 1 5 16 -18
E. Payton 16 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 2/3 0/0 0/0 0 0 5 -13
A. Len 23 3 9 0 1 2 3 2 1/3 0/0 1/2 2 7 12 -24
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Warren 36 19 6 0 1 1 3 3 8/18 0/0 3/3 2 4 24 -22
D. Booker 34 12 5 2 0 0 4 3 3/18 1/4 5/5 0 5 17 -15
D. Bender 29 7 6 2 1 0 2 5 2/5 1/4 2/2 1 5 16 -18
E. Payton 16 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 2/3 0/0 0/0 0 0 5 -13
A. Len 23 3 9 0 1 2 3 2 1/3 0/0 1/2 2 7 12 -24
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Jackson 23 17 9 1 0 0 2 1 6/11 1/1 4/6 1 8 26 -10
T. Ulis 15 8 2 3 0 0 0 1 3/8 2/2 0/0 0 2 16 -9
J. Dudley 9 6 0 1 1 0 3 3 2/2 2/2 0/0 0 0 6 -1
S. Harrison 17 6 7 3 0 0 2 4 2/6 0/1 2/6 2 5 17 -6
M. Chriss 14 4 4 0 0 1 1 1 2/5 0/1 0/0 1 3 8 +1
T. Daniels 11 2 1 1 0 0 1 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 1 4 -15
D. Reed 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 2 -4
A. Peters 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 -4
B. Knight - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. House - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Chandler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 233 88 51 14 4 4 22 26 32/83 7/16 17/24 9 42 153 -140
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Mitchell 36 23 6 4 1 1 1 4 10/21 2/7 1/4 1 5 38 +26
R. Gobert 34 21 13 2 1 2 0 4 8/11 0/0 5/6 6 7 41 +24
J. Ingles 31 17 2 3 2 0 1 1 6/13 4/9 1/2 0 2 26 +24
R. Rubio 31 12 5 11 4 0 1 3 5/15 2/6 0/2 1 4 42 +31
D. Favors 23 5 6 3 1 2 2 2 2/8 0/2 1/2 3 3 18 +10
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Mitchell 36 23 6 4 1 1 1 4 10/21 2/7 1/4 1 5 38 +26
R. Gobert 34 21 13 2 1 2 0 4 8/11 0/0 5/6 6 7 41 +24
J. Ingles 31 17 2 3 2 0 1 1 6/13 4/9 1/2 0 2 26 +24
R. Rubio 31 12 5 11 4 0 1 3 5/15 2/6 0/2 1 4 42 +31
D. Favors 23 5 6 3 1 2 2 2 2/8 0/2 1/2 3 3 18 +10
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Crowder 27 15 8 2 2 0 0 2 5/10 2/5 3/4 1 7 29 +7
D. Exum 14 10 3 2 0 0 1 1 3/7 0/1 4/6 0 3 16 +3
R. O'Neale 21 7 5 1 1 2 1 3 1/6 1/2 4/4 2 3 16 +6
J. Jerebko 9 6 5 0 0 0 0 0 2/5 1/4 1/2 0 5 11 -3
A. Burks 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 2 +4
E. Udoh 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 1 +6
G. Niang 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 +2
T. Sefolosha - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. McCree - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Neto - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Bradley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 116 53 29 12 8 7 20 42/97 12/36 20/32 14 39 240 +140