NBA Game Summary - Utah at New Orleans/Oklahoma City
(Friday, April 14th)
Final Score: Utah 105, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 104
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Andrei Kirilenko racked up 25 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks and six assists to lead the Utah Jazz to a 105-104 triumph over the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.
Carlos Boozer tallied 23 points for Utah, which is just one game back of Sacramento for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. The Jazz must play powerhouses Dallas and San Antonio on the road before returning home to close out the regular season against Golden State.
"I felt that this game was a playoff game," Kirilenko said. "This crowd was a huge help for them (the Hornets). I'm very happy that we stayed as a team. Even when we had a tough stretch at the beginning we still stayed together."
Mehmet Okur pitched in 20 points for Utah, which also got 17 points from Deron Williams and 11 points from Matt Harpring. The Jazz have now won five straight games.
David West poured in 31 points on 14-of-18 shooting from the floor for the Hornets, and he also ripped down 12 rebounds. Kirk Snyder and Speedy Claxton managed 15 points apiece in defeat, while Desmond Mason contributed 13 points.
Rounding out the double-digit scorers was Chris Paul with 11 points, but his Hornets have lost three of their last four contests and fell three games back of Sacramento.
With New Orleans/Oklahoma City ahead 104-103, Okur attempted a late three- pointer that missed its mark. The long rebound was secured by Williams, and he was fouled by Snyder. Williams, a rookie, calmly knocked down a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left that proved to be the difference.
Paul had two chances to win the game in the final seconds, but a layup attempt was blocked and a leaner at the buzzer fell short.
West scored 12 of the Hornets' first 14 points, powering the team to a 28-20 lead after one quarter.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City led 43-28 with 5:20 remaining in the first half, and the Hornets went into intermission with a 54-43 advantage.
Utah finally gained the momentum down the stretch in the third quarter and was able to draw to within two points at 78-76 heading into the final stanza.
Both teams shot the ball exceptionally well from the foul line. Utah was 28- of-31 from the charity stripe, while New Orleans/Oklahoma City was 23-of-26 from the line.
This contest marked the final home game for the Hornets in Oklahoma City...The Hornets finished 24-17 as the host this season...Utah is 19-20 on the road thus far...This game featured 11 ties and six lead changes.
04/14 23:54:03 ET