Jefferson's 24 points lead Jazz over Suns

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Al Jefferson scored 24 points and the Utah Jazz remained unbeaten in the preseason with a 108-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

"My whole career, I've had to score against two, three people," said Jefferson, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Minnesota. "It just feels good to catch the ball and go up. This offense gets along. It gets you the ball in the right spot."

Rookie Jeremy Evans scored 12 points and Deron Williams added 11 for Utah (4-0), which defeated Phoenix for the second time in 48 hours. The Jazz won 105-100 in Phoenix on Tuesday night.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 13 points and Garret Siler added 11 for Phoenix (1-4), which allowed more than 100 points for the fourth time in five preseason games.

"We've got things to do, things to improve, but all around, everybody's been great," Turkoglu said. "Just got to focus on the things that can really help us get better, like defense and rebounding."

Jefferson scored 12 points in the third quarter as Utah erased a halftime deficit and took control of the game. The center, acquired in an offseason trade with Minnesota, has 40 points in two games against the Suns.

"He's just getting comfortable," Jazz guard C.J. Miles said. "Tonight he showed that when he relaxes and plays, he gets buckets down there."

The Jazz outscored Phoenix 53-41 in the second half and outrebounded the Suns 51-34 for the game, led by Paul Millsap's seven.

The first half was marred by a total of 34 fouls. Utah was called for 22 fouls and had three players had at least three. Phoenix shot 30 free throws in the half, compared to Utah's 11. The Suns shot 39 free throws in the game.

Jazz rookie Gordon Hayward continued to struggle with his shooting. The first-round draft pick from Butler went 1 for 5 from the field and is 6 for 23 (26 percent) in the preseason.

"He's a young guy trying to figure out what's going on," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "It's not an easy thing. I think he's concerned about getting in foul trouble and he's got to get through that. He's got to push himself a little harder."

Notes: The Jazz are 4-0 in the preseason for the first time since 1976, when they were in New Orleans. Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained right wrist. X-rays were negative and he is day-to-day. Utah played without centers Mehmet Okur (Achilles') and Francisco Elson (hamstring).

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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