National Basketball Association
Utah at Phoenix
When: 9:00 PM ET, Monday, January 16, 2017
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
After wowing fans in a two-game stay in Mexico City, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker will seek an encore in front of his own supporters when the Suns host the Utah Jazz on Monday. Booker scored 28 points in the fourth quarter - a franchise record for one period - en route to a career-high 39 against Dallas on Thursday at Arena Ciudad de Mexico.
The 20-year-old then followed that up with another 39-point effort in Saturday's 108-105 win over San Antonio, picking up an emotional triumph in the country where his grandfather was born. "I'm proud of the team overall, we bounce back after what happened the other night against Dallas, we play against a really good team like the Spurs and we came out with a close win," Booker told the media. "We are seeing beauty in the struggle. We played real well." It has mostly been a struggle for Phoenix when it plays Utah, which won six straight in the series and carries a three-game winning streak into this one. Center Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 19 rebounds in Saturday's 114-107 win over Orlando at home, although guard Rodney Hood suffered a knee injury in the setback and will be undergoing more tests.TV:
9 p.m. ET, ROOT Rocky Mountain (Utah), FSN Arizona (Phoenix)ABOUT THE JAZZ (26-16):
Hood was hurt in the fourth quarter as Utah continued to rally from an early hole, and while the injury looked serious at first, the team is hoping that the initial diagnosis of a hyperextension is all that comes of it. "They've got to continue to evaluate him," Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters. "But hopefully it's not serious. It's serious enough that he had to leave the game, but we don't know when he'll be back." Hood had 14 points before going down and averaged 19.7 over the course of the winning streak, while forward Gordon Hayward had 23 on Saturday and is averaging 23.3 on 66 percent shooting in a four-game hot stretch.
ABOUT THE SUNS (13-27):
Booker opened January with a 13-point outing at the Los Angeles Clippers but has responded in a big way, averaging 31 while making 17-of-28 3-pointers in the next five contests. His growth - especially on a unique stage and against a formidable foe like the Spurs on Saturday - is part of what a youthful organization hopes is a big step forward for the whole crew. "Coming in tonight, after a tough game against Dallas where they just beat us in everything," coach Earl Watson told reporters. "You could see our young group grow up and start to believe more."BUZZER BEATERS
1. Gobert is averaging 20 points on 81.3 percent and 12 rebounds against Phoenix this season.
2. Suns PG Eric Bledsoe is averaging 20.3 points and seven assists at home, compared to 19.8 and 4.9 on the road.
3. Utah entered Sunday leading the NBA in scoring defense (94.8), while Phoenix was 29th (111.8).PREDICTION:
Jazz 108, Suns 106
Stats and Records