Derrick Favors, Raul Neto coming up big for Utah Jazz during win streak

SALT LAKE CITY — With 9:30 remaining in the second quarter of the Utah Jazz’s game against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, Jazz point guard Raul Neto checked in for the first time after missing the previous six games because of left hamstring tightness.

On Utah’s first offensive possession with Neto at floor general, he used a screen from Derrick Favors at the top of the 3-point line to drive right and toward the basket. With Favors rolling hard down the center of the lane, Suns rookie center Deandre Ayton opted to leave Favors to prevent Neto from getting a layup.

Neto rose up as if to try the shot, but by then, Favors was at the basket, and Neto curled a pass around Ayton. Favors slammed it home for 2 points.

Two minutes later, the pair started a play the same way, but this time Neto drove left and dropped a pass off to Favors in the middle of the lane and Favors put up a soft floater for 2 more points.

The plays are indicative of how well Favors and Neto are playing individually and collectively. In the last two contests combined, both Jazz wins, Favors has scored 35 points to go along with 18 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and two steals.

Neto’s numbers of seven points, six assists, two steals and a block might seem considerably more modest, but Utah is plus-16 with him on the floor (exactly even with Favors), and he’s allowed Ricky Rubio to rest without forcing Donovan Mitchell or Joe Ingles to play point guard as Dante Exum has struggled and ultimately left Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after partially tearing his right patellar tendon.

Exum will be out indefinitely

While it’s an ultimate example of small sample size, in the 15 minutes Favors and Neto have shared …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Top stories


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