Phoenix will seek to build off of its impressive win against Philadelphia earlier in the day when it travels to Utah on Monday night.
Update the most recent injury report for the Suns and Jazz game
Phoenix had a rough start to the season, going 21-24, but it turned things around by going 16-5 in its next 21 games and became a stable playoff team.
During that time, the Suns got star player Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, but he is out with an ankle injury right now.
After winning four games in a row to start the month of March, they lost the next six. They lost all three games on the road last week.
Devin Booker, the team’s top scorer, scored 32 or more points in each of those three losses, including 46 against Oklahoma City last Sunday.
The Suns ended their losing streak with an impressive 125-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. Booker had 29 points, which was the most on the team.
Bismack Biyombo took over for an injured Deandre Ayton and had one of his best games of the season. He scored 17 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and blocked five shots. He also played great defense against Joel Embiid, a star player for Philadelphia.
Chris Paul, a veteran point guard, finished the game with 13 points, six assists, and five rebounds. He made 4 of 7 shots from the field.
With a hip injury, Ayton, who averages 18.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, might not be able to play in this game.
Phoenix has the 18th best offense in the NBA, scoring 113.7 points per game on average. The Suns are going up against the Utah defense, which is ranked 24th and gives up 117.8 points per game. Phoenix is fourth in the Western Conference and will play on Sunday. They are a half-game ahead of the Clippers and Warriors.
The Suns Injury
- Deandre Ayton (Hip): Game Time Decision
- Kevin Durant (Ankle): Expected to be out until at least Mar 29
FOR THE JAZZ
This season, Utah has been a very inconsistent and streaky team, which could cost them a spot in the playoffs.
At the beginning of the month, they lost four games in a row. Then, in their next four games, they beat both the Celtics and the Kings.
Last week, Portland and Milwaukee both beat Utah by more than 10 points to end a four-game homestand.
The Jazz couldn’t get back on track on Saturday and lost by 8 points to Sacramento, who was a 9-point favorite. At halftime, they were ahead by six points, but in the third quarter, their opponents outscored them 35–17, and they only made 9 of 28 3-point shots in the loss.
Walker Kessler, a rookie center, had the best game of his young career. In 34 minutes of play, he scored 31 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, gave two assists, and blocked one shot.
Since the Jazz didn’t have Lauri Markkanen (hand), Kessler had more chances. In his last five games, he had only taken an average of 5.8 shots per game. On Saturday, though, he made 14 of 16 shots.
Markkanen, who averages 25.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and is the team leader, might not be able to play in this game.
The Salt Lake Tribune’s Eric Walden says that Markkanen might not be able to play against the Suns on Monday because he hurt his hand.
Markkanen hasn’t played in the last two games because he hurt his hand, but he might be able to play on Monday. If he can’t come back, Talen Horton-Tucker and Simone Fontecchio will get more playing time.
The Jazz were also missing Jordan Clarkson, who was their second-highest scorer, and Collin Sexton, who was their third-highest scorer. Both of them are questionable for this game. Utah is sixth in the NBA in scoring (117.3), and Phoenix is fourth in the league in defense (112.0).
As of Sunday’s games, the Jazz are one game behind Oklahoma City in the race for the last spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
The Jazz Injury
- Rudy Gay (Back): Expected to be out until at least Mar 29
- Lauri Markka (Hamstring): Expected to be out until at least Mar 29
- Jordan Clarkson (Finger): Expected to be out until at least Mar 29