NBA Game Summary - Houston at Utah
(Friday, November 26th)
Final Score: Utah 90, Houston 80
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Andrei Kirilenko had 21 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals to lead the Utah Jazz past the Houston Rockets, 90-80.
Mehmet Okur made all eight shots he took from the field and finished with 20 points for the Jazz, who won for the first time in three home games.
"I felt good, especially playing against a big guy like Yao Ming," said Okur. "Tonight I could take the 3-pointer or put the ball on the floor and make foul shots."
Utah led 50-40 at the intermission, and extended the lead to 17 points in the third quarter. Kirilenko had five points during an 11-4 run to start the second half, which gave the Jazz a 61-44 advantage with 8:15 left in the third quarter.
A Matt Harpring hoop with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third made it a 72-55 game. But the Rockets reeled off a 14-2 run over 4 1/2 minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters to pull within 74-69. Bostjan Nachbar had six points during the spurt.
But an Okur jumper with 2:15 left in the game capped a 14-5 burst that grew the Utah lead back to a dozen, at 88-76. Houston got no closer than the 10- point final margin the rest of the way.
"Okur is a tough matchup for our centers and he did a good job exploiting that," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said.
Jim Jackson had 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals to lead the way for the Rockets. Tracy McGrady added 17 points for Houston, while center Yao Ming had just nine points and four rebounds and was not a factor.
Carlos Boozer had 15 points and six rebounds for Utah, which won for the fourth time in seven home games this season. The Jazz shots 50 percent from the field, compared to just 37 percent for the Rockets.
The victory was just Utah's second in its last six games...Charlie Ward returned to the lineup for the Rockets after missing Tuesday's loss to the Kings with a sore right knee.
11/27 00:49:03 ET