Match-up with Utah officially a must win for Suns

After the Suns exciting 93-90 win over the L.A. Clippers last Thursday, head coach Alvin Gentry explained why he doesn’t believe in must win games.

“These must win things, I don’t believe in them,” he said. “I believe you have to go out there and play extremely hard. A must win game, does that mean if you don’t win it you don’t play any of the other games?”

Well in this case, yes, that’s what it means. As things stand for the Suns on Monday, the next game against Utah on Tuesday is in fact a must win game and Gentry as well as Steve Nash admit it.

“Must win situation,” Gentry stated. “We have to go to Utah today and tomorrow we have to line up and we have to find a way to win the game if we want to keep our season going.”

“We’ve come a long way since 12-19,” explained Nash. “We have fought through a lot of adversity and tough nights. It feels like the last month, every game has been really important so to still be alive with two games left is exciting.”

As is stands, the Suns are a game behind the the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot. With the Houston Rockets officially out of the running, it will come down to those two teams and if the Jazz win it Tuesday, they will lock up that 8th spot.

The Suns do own the tie breaker with the Jazz because they have won both meetings to this point. Steve Nash explained those two prior victories gives them confidence going into Tuesday.

“It is hard to beat a team three times, especially twice on their own floor and when it really means the most,” said Nash. “We really have our work cut out for us but that’s what you love. Another great opportunity to do something special.”

The status of Grant Hill and Channing Frye remain uncertain for Tuesday. Hill, who has missed 13 of the last 15 games from soreness from his surgically repaired knee, remains day to day and a game time decision on Tuesday.

“Regardless of whether I’m out there or not, I have a lot of confidence in my teammates,” mentioned Hill at practice Monday. “We’ve won with me playing against them (Utah Jazz) and without me so we just have to come out and play the way we are capable of playing.”

Frye was not at the facility Monday because his wife had gone into labor. Frye’s status was already uncertain after he hurt his shoulder in the Nuggets game on Saturday.

Tip off at 7:30 p.m. from Salt Lake City Tuesday between the Suns and Jazz. Playoffs are on the line for the Suns.

For more on the Suns, follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.

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