NBA Game Summary - Utah at Phoenix
(Friday, March 7th)
Final Score: Utah 126, Phoenix 118
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Deron Williams and Mehmet Okur each scored 25, as the Utah Jazz pulled away from the Phoenix Suns, 126-118, at US Airways Center.
Williams had 15 assists, while Okur grabbed 14 rebounds for Utah, which has won four in a row. Carlos Boozer added 23 points before fouling out late in the game.
Kyle Korver added 14 points off the bench, all in the fourth quarter for Utah, which won the season series between the clubs, 2-1.
Amare Stoudemire finished with 37 points and eight rebounds, but the Suns lost their second straight. Shaquille O'Neal added 20 points for Phoenix, which dropped to 3-6 with him in the lineup.
Steve Nash had 17 points and 15 assists, while Raja Bell made 5-of-9 three- pointers and scored 19 overall for the Suns.
With 1:25 left and the Suns down by four, Stoudemire took off from the edge of the paint, a few steps from the basket, and powered his way to the hoop for a dunk. He was also fouled on the play, and made the free throw to bring Phoenix within 118-117.
But Utah -- as was the pattern down the stretch -- countered with a key shot. Williams made a jumper near the baseline to put the Jazz up three.
On the ensuing Suns possession, O'Neal went to the free throw line, but only made one. Boozer then took advantage of the opportunity, and banked a shot off the glass with the shot clock expiring. With the game clock standing at just over half a minute, the Jazz were up 122-118.
Phoenix couldn't manage to come back, as the team turned the ball over, travelled, and missed a three-pointer on its next three touches. The miss, by Leandro Barbosa, came with 16.4 seconds left, and the Jazz finished the game out at the line.
"I didn't think we were that bad tonight defensively," Nash said. "They were throwing balls in from everywhere, and you just have to take your hat off when they make shots like that. They had a hard time guarding us and we had a hard time guarding them, and they made some crazy shots that made the difference."
Utah trailed by nine at the start of the fourth quarter, but went off for 41 points in the stanza to overpower Phoenix. The Jazz missed just four shots (12-of-16) and one free throw the entire frame. Meanwhile, the Suns put up 24 shots, and made just nine.
The Suns steadily built up the lead -- they held a 33-28 edge after the first quarter, and led 66-59 at halftime.
Phoenix scored seven straight points near the end of the third quarter -- a Stoudemire three-point play, O'Neal layup, and two Bell free throws -- to push the Suns' lead to 11.
"They're a good team," Boozer said. "They took it to us in the first half, and took it to us in the second half, too. They had an 11-point lead, but in the fourth quarter we started executing a little bit better and did a better job of making our free throws."
Paul Millsap's dunk to close the third-quarter scoring then trimmed Utah's deficit to 94-85 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Jazz are 27-3 when Williams has 11 or more assists...Utah shot 57 percent from the field, compared to 50 percent for Phoenix...The Jazz made 5-of-11 three-pointers, compared to 9-of-27 for the Suns...Utah had 18 turnovers, while Phoenix had 14...Stoudemire blocked three shots.
03/08 00:47:37 ET