Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Wednesday, November 5th
Game 2: Saturday, February 7th
Game 3: Friday, March 12th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 14th

Suns 80

(1-3, 0-2 away)

Jazz 91


    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, November 5, 2003

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 23 17 16 2480
    UTAH 32 14 27 1891

    Top Performers

    PHX: S. Marion 20 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

    UTAH: A. Kirilenko 11 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk

    Utah 91, Phoenix 80

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Maybe even the Utah Jazz are a little bit surprised by their 3-1 start.

    The Jazz had their most consistent offensive performance of the young season and another dominant rebounding night in a 91-80 win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, extending Utah's best start in three years.

    "It's great to be 3-1. I don't think anybody expected this, but with that said we're not making any predictions on how we're going to do this year," said Matt Harpring, who had 21 points to lead the Jazz in scoring for the second straight game. "We're going to go out there and play and we'll see what happens."

    So far, so good. DeShawn Stevenson had 16 points and eight rebounds, while Carlos Arroyo returned after missing two games with an ankle sprain and finished with 14 points and four assists.

    Andrei Kirilenko added 11 points, four rebounds and two blocks for the Jazz, who improved to 3-0 at home this season and kept the crowd of 18,852 cheering throughout the night.

    "We're doing everything we're supposed to do. We're young, talented and it's going to work out," Stevenson said. "Everybody has a role. Everybody has a job to do on the court. We don't have a superstar to get 50 shots or 20 shots."

    The Jazz don't seem to be missing Karl Malone or John Stockton yet.

    Utah, which had 20 more rebounds than Minnesota in a win two nights before, outrebounded Phoenix 48-35. After fourth-quarter comebacks for wins over Portland and the Timberwolves, Utah didn't need to rally this time.

    The Jazz led 73-56 at the end of three and held off a late Phoenix run.

    "It's fun to see these guys have an opportunity to win a ballgame because they did play hard," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.

    Shawn Marion scored 20, Amare Stoudemire had 18 points and both players pulled down nine rebounds to lead Phoenix. The Suns were 30-for-80 from the field and trailed by double digits much of the game.

    Stephon Marbury was just 3-for-13 with nine points and six assists for Phoenix, which opened 1-3 for the third straight season.

    "It's really hard to score with the type of defense they were playing against me," Marbury said. "I don't think we overlooked them. They had more energy than us tonight and that was the key. We couldn't match that energy."

    Joe Johnson finished with 11 points for Phoenix.

    The Suns scored the last nine points of the first half while holding Utah scoreless for 2:45 to cut Utah's 15-point lead to 46-40 at halftime.

    But the Jazz pulled away in the third and led by as many as 19 before Phoenix made one last push with a 9-2 run. Johnson made two free throws with 1:41 left to cut Utah's lead to 85-77, but Arroyo responded with a jumper from outside the lane.

    After a miss by Phoenix, Harpring got a key offensive rebound and added a layup to put the Jazz back up by 12 and end the threat.

    Game notes

    Utah outrebounded Phoenix 14-5 in the first quarter while taking a 32-23 lead. ... Marion, who blocked layups by Harpring on consecutive possessions, stopped a 13-1 Utah run with a layup midway through the second quarter to pull Phoenix to 39-25. ... Utah's Keon Clark got a cheer during a timeout when he posed for a picture on the court with a young boy who came up to about the 6-foot-11 forward's knee. ... Phoenix rookie Leandro Barbosa did not make the trip because of personal reasons.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 80 91
    FGM-FGA 30-80 (.375) 35-76 (.461)
    3PM-3PA 5-16 (.313) 1-10 (.100)
    FTM-FTA 15-21 (.714) 20-25 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-35 12-48
    Assists 13 16
    Turnovers 10 10
    Steals 5 3
    Blocks 11 4
    Fast Break Points 2 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 19 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Shawn Marion Marion
    Points: 20
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 5
    Andrei Kirilenko Kirilenko
    Points: 11
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2