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Jackson, Bender shine for Summer Suns in win over Jazz

(AP Photos)
LISTEN: Empire of the Suns

The Phoenix Suns were three games through their trip in Las Vegas for the NBA’s Summer League and didn’t have a signature individual performance.

The Suns left COX Pavillion Wednesday, however, with two of them after Dragan Bender and Josh Jackson shined in the team’s 97-81 win over the Utah Jazz.

For Jackson, his well-noted reputation as a pest of a player for the opposition to deal with showed against Utah.

Jackson’s block and long staredown will be the defining play of the week.

The No. 4 overall pick was doing all this while showing off his impressive handle and finishing ability. He finished with a game-high 21 points and was everywhere on the court, as evidenced by his game-high 15 rebounds.

As for the Croatian, he had the game many wanted to see out of him as a former top-5 pick returning for his second year of Summer League play.

He scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half, converting on his jumpers and playing with confidence.

Bender also showcased his passing ability.

The 19-year-old also had five rebounds, two assists and a block to go with his highest scoring game of the 2017 Summer League.

There were solid supplemental performances as well. Mike James also had his best game thus far, scoring 18 points on 11 shots and dishing out seven assists. Davon Reed continued to look good, adding 15 points and grabbing five rebounds off the bench.

Phoenix moves on in the tournament to play the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday at 5 p.m.

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