KD's near triple-double helps Suns outlast Jazz in double-OT thriller
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant totaled 39 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to lead the Suns to a 140-137 double overtime win 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, and Grayson Allen finished with 14.
“I thought we had good momentum on the offensive side of the ball all game,” Durant said. “We stayed with that throughout the fourth quarter and the two overtimes.”
Lauri Markkanen finished with 38 points and 17 rebounds to lead Utah. Talen Horton-Tucker chipped in 25 points, Jordan Clarkson added 22, Collin Sexton had 18 and John Collins had 15.
Utah lost despite a 27-18 advantage in second-chance points and 26-12 edge in fastbreak points.
“There were some moments, especially as we got late in the game, into overtime, where our execution defensively on the weak side was not what 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 countered a go-ahead 3-pointer with 43 seconds remaining to keep Utah from taking its first 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 guys started each overtime with confidence and did enough to hold on.”
Referee Ashley Moyer-Gieich initially whistled Durant for a foul when he blocked a shot from Markkanen with less than a second left. The call would have sent Markkanen to the free-throw line for three free throws and given him a chance to tie the game and force a third overtime.
Officials overturned the foul upon review, ruling Durant got the ball first.
“It was ridiculous to even call that,” Durant said. “I knew I blocked the shot and I knew I didn’t touch him at all. But that’s just how 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 to Secaucus and get it right.”
Markkanen said he believed Durant struck him on the left arm when he made the final block and was surprised when the call was overturned.
“I thought (it was a foul),” Markkanen said. “I was getting ready to shoot three free throws.”
Utah twice rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit and trailed for the bulk 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 a NBA In-Season Tournament game.
Jazz: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday for a NBA In-Season Tournament game.
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