Jazz rally to stun the Nets

December 17, 2008 7:18:09 PM PST
Deron Williams had 17 points and 11 assists, and the Utah Jazz overcame a seven-point first quarter and a 22-point deficit to beat the New Jersey Nets 103-92 on Wednesday night. Mehmet Okur had 23 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 1-1 on a five-game road trip. They played starting forward Carlos Boozer for the 15th straight game because of a strained left quadriceps, then lost coach Jerry Sloan after he picked up two technical fouls 33 seconds apart early in the fourth quarter.

Paul Millsap added 18 points and 12 rebounds in his 13th straight double-double for the Jazz, who made only three field goals during one of the worst quarters in franchise history.

Williams had only one point during 10 minutes on the floor in the period, then watched the second while the Jazz began chipping away without him.

Vince Carter scored 32 points for the Nets. who opened a four-game homestand that continues Friday against Dallas, when Jason Kidd returns to the Meadowlands for the first time since getting traded last February. Devin Harris, the key player New Jersey got in return, had 21 points and 11 assists.

The Jazz never led until midway through the fourth quarter. They fell behind again by three, then surged into the lead with an 11-0 spurt. Kyle Korver followed Millsap's bucket with five straight points, starting with a jumper that gave them the lead for good at 81-80 with 5:18 to go.

Okur sank two free throws before Millsap scored again for an 88-80 advantage with 3:33 to play. The Nets were scoreless for more than 3 minutes before Carter's jumper ended their drought.

The game was tied at two before the Nets scored 13 consecutive points to go up 15-2 on Harris' three-point play. Kosta Koufos ended a run of six straight missed shots with a putback, but Utah then missed another eight in a row.

Morris Almond's jumper with 2.8 seconds left ended that slump and made it 27-7, allowing the Jazz to avoid matching the worst quarter in franchise history. Utah scored five points in the second quarter against the Lakers on Dec. 1, 1981.

The Jazz were 3-for-19 (16 percent) with seven turnovers in the quarter, then got right back into the game when the Nets were nearly as awful in the second. With Williams sitting the entire period, the Jazz cut it to 39-31 after the Nets shot 5-for-19.

The offenses finally woke up in the third, with Carter scoring 15 points and Williams 12 as New Jersey brought a 69-63 lead to the final period. Sloan was hit with a technical less than a minute in, then got another and an ejection with 10:29 to play after he said something to Steve Javie following a missed shot by Millsap.

Notes: The Nets matched their record for fewest points allowed in a first quarter. Their best in any period was five points allowed in the fourth quarter against Portland on March 15, 2006. ... The Jazz went 1-4 in November during their first five-game trip through the East. They have another one in March.