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Utah Jazz Analysis: Add Marcus Morris to the long list of Jazz killers

Add another player to the long list of Utah Jazz killers. Marcus Morris had a career night, propelling the Phoenix Suns to a 100-93 victory over Utah.

Why the Jazz lost: While Utah did a lot of nice things Friday, the Suns pulled the game out thanks to some balanced scoring and stellar perimeter shooting. Phoenix reserve forward Marcus Morris had arguably the best performance of his career, tallying 34 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Led by his five 3-pointers, the Suns connected on 14 shots from downtown. The Jazz had some nice individual performances and passed the ball fairly well. Getting outscored in three of the four quarters makes it difficult to win, especially on the road.

Turning point: With a solid third quarter, Utah managed to cut the Phoenix lead to five points. Credit the Suns for consistently making big plays in the fourth quarter. As a result, the Jazz were never able to further lessen the deficit and Phoenix went on the secure a rather comfortable win.

What it means: The Jazz did not play particularly well, but managed to be within striking distance for much of the night. They continue to get very good play from stalwarts Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. Center Rudy Gobert had yet another strong game off the bench. There were numerous missed assignments on defense, leading to a bevy of wide-open looks for the always potent Suns squad.

Grading the performance: Utah shot the ball well and were even in rebounding. The Jazz pounded the ball inside and enjoyed quite an advantage in the paint. It was beyond the paint where they encountered such difficulty. Phoenix burned the nets from the outside. Starting shooting guard Joe Ingles suffered some back spasms in the second half, adding further to the team's mounting injury list.

Utah Jazz grade: B-

It seems like the Phoenix Suns have always been a high-octane, free-wheeling and sweet-shooting team. Over the past three decades, few teams have been as good offensively as Phoenix. While they had just 100 points, former Jazz great Jeff Hornacek continues that trend by helping his team play fluid, up-tempo offense. Five players scored in double-figures and, as Morris showed Friday, the Suns has several players capable of big nights. The speedy Phoenix back court is a lot to handle.

Phoenix Suns grade: B+

Three telling stats:

-Behind their 14 of 27 3-point shooting, the Suns outscored their opponents by 21 points beyond the arc.

-The Jazz had six players with three or more assists. That ball movement is encouraging.

-Utah’s struggles at the free throw line carried on, as it went just 12 of 18.

Up next: The Jazz will be back in Salt Lake City Saturday evening to take on former head coach Tyrone Corbin and the Sacramento Kings. This will be the last of four games in five nights for Utah.

David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also writes for Salt City Hoops (ESPN's Jazz affiliate). He can be reached at or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.