NBA Game Summary - Utah at New Jersey
(Saturday, March 15th)
Final Score: New Jersey 117, Utah 115
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Richard Jefferson scored 27 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 1.5 seconds remaining, to push the New Jersey Nets past the Utah Jazz, 117-115, at the IZOD Center.
Jefferson made 11-of-15 field goal attempts and scored six of New Jersey's final eight points, and Vince Carter added 25 points and eight rebounds as the Nets won their second straight on the heels of a six-game losing streak.
The win allowed New Jersey (28-38) to move a half game ahead of Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Carlos Boozer was an absolute beast for Utah, scoring a career-high-tying 41 points on 15-for-19 shooting from the floor, as well as pulling down nine rebounds. Kyle Korver added 18 for the Jazz, who had a two-game win streak halted.
Utah was up 115-111 with under two minutes to go when Boozer grabbed his own rebound and deposited a putback, but Carter got inside for a quick hoop at the other end to trim the margin back to two.
Moments later Jefferson drew a foul on Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko and hit a pair of free throws to pull the Nets even with 1:05 on the clock. Korver missed a three at the other end, and Josh Boone corralled the board for New Jersey, but the Nets couldn't take advantage.
Ronnie Brewer gripped Carter's miss and pushed ahead for Korver. Korver again misfired from beyond the arc though, and Devin Harris grabbed the rebound to secure possession for the Nets, who called timeout with 12.4 ticks showing.
Out of the break New Jersey put the ball in the hands of Jefferson, who, isolated against Kirilenko at the top of the key, blew past the defense and into the lane. He lofted a one-handed leaner and got a friendly home-court roll, as the shot bounced high off the iron before falling through the hoop with just 1.5 seconds remaining.
Utah used its final timeout to set up a last-gasp heave, but Mehmet Okur's desperation three-pointer from the corner came up well short. Okur did appear to be bumped by Carter on the release, and Utah head coach Jerry Sloan was visibly miffed by the no-call, but the whistles were silent and the Nets escaped with the much-needed victory.
Harris finished with 19 points, 12 assists and eight boards, while Boone had 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for New Jersey. Bostjan Nachbar was also in double figures, scoring 16.
Okur totaled 17 for Utah, which got another double-double performance from point guard Deron Williams. Williams overcame a 3-for-11 shooting night to manage 11 points and a game-high 16 assists.
The Nets held a 32-29 lead after one quarter before Utah tightened defensively en route to holding New Jersey to just 18 second-quarter points.
It was a 57-50 Utah lead at the break, and the Jazz increased the margin to as many as eight in the third before a late Nets spurt made it 86-81 going to the fourth.
Boozer's turnaround jumper had the Jazz up 96-90 with 8:14 left, but the Nets were even at 98 less than two minutes later after Nachbar canned a jumper of his own.
New Jersey shot 51.3 percent from the floor, and went to the line 50 times, making 36 free throws; the Nets also dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Jazz 48-29...Utah did force 15 Nets turnovers and hit 25 of its 30 free-throw attempts...The Jazz also totaled 31 assists as a team on their 43 made field goals.
03/15 23:16:20 ET