"We're playing good teams but we're not meeting the
challenge," Suns guard Penny Hardaway said. "When we didn't match
their intensity, they just took off."
In his last game, Padgett tied a career high with 16 points in
Utah's win at Chicago on Saturday.
"He's getting opportunities now, and I'm glad to see that for
Scott," Malone said.
After the Suns closed to 75-67, Malone, playing with four Utah
substitutes, sparked a 9-0 Jazz run with five points. Crotty capped
the surge with a 3-pointer to give Utah a 84-67 lead with 8:05
Utah's substitutes turned a 30-16 first quarter deficit into a
51-39 halftime lead. The Jazz never trailed after that big run.
"We never did got any sort of rhythm going after that,"
Phoenix coach Scott Skiles said.
For a team that ranks near the bottom of the league in 3-point
field goals and percentage, Padgett's strong shooting was
important. Utah made 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Padgett is "shooting with a lot of confidence and he's
executing our offense," Sloan said. "He knows where he's supposed
to go because he's been here a while."
Game notes Malone played in his 1,307th game, tying Buck Williams for
fifth place on the NBA career list. ... Suns center Jake
Tsakalidis, who had missed eight games with a sprained right hand,
was activated before the game. Tom Gugliotta took his place on the
injured list. ... Malone and Stephon Marbury, the teams' top
scorers, each had just two points in the first half. ... Marion
scored seven points in less than two minutes in the first quarter
to give Phoenix a 14-4 lead.