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Short-handed Jazz hold off late rally by Sonics

SEATTLE (AP) -- Devin Brown knows eventually Utah will be back at
full strength. Until then, the Jazz need a collective effort like
Tuesday night.

Mehmet Okur had 24 points and nine rebounds, and Utah's bench
chipped in with 36 points as the short-handed Jazz held off a
furious rally to beat the Seattle SuperSonics 93-87.

The Jazz won consecutive games for the first time since starting
the season 2-0. Utah also won both ends of a back-to-back for the
first time this season after losing their first four.

"When a team hits a fourth quarter run like that ... to weather
that storm and get through it, it builds character on this team.
Especially with so many young guys," Brown said.

It didn't come easily for the Jazz, who put together another
strong defensive performance after limiting Milwaukee to 80 points
on Monday night. Utah held the SuperSonics 12 points below their
season average and harassed All-Star guard Ray Allen into a
2-for-10 shooting performance on 3-pointers.

Allen missed his final five shot attempts, including four
3-pointers. His 25-footer rimmed off with 14 seconds left and ended
Seattle's hopes of rallying from a 13-point deficit with less than
6 minutes left.

"I think we lost tonight by disrespecting our opponents,"
Seattle coach Bob Weiss said.

Gordan Giricek added 17 points for the Jazz, who made 15 of 30
shots in the second half, and had assists on 20 of their 32 total
field goals.

Rashard Lewis led Seattle with 26 points and Allen added 24, and
both shot 8-for-20. Seattle had its three-game winning streak
snapped and failed in its first chance to climb above .500 this
season.

Unlike those previous three victories, a third scorer did not
develop for Seattle to help carry the offensive load. Mateen
Cleaves had nine points off the bench and Nick Collison and Luke
Ridnour had eight, but no other Seattle player scored more than
five points.

"We got beat on hustle plays, we got beat on second-chance
plays. We got beat on small little plays and that's hard for me to
swallow," Allen said. "Sometimes you put yourself in some funky
situations and sometimes you've got to get out of them. We've got
to stop doing that."

Meanwhile, Utah received significant contributions from its
bench while rookie point guard Deron Williams suffered through a
miserable shooting performance. Coming off consecutive
double-doubles, Williams went 0-for-8, managing just four points.
He did have seven assists and six rebounds.

Milt Palacio and Brown combined for 26 points off the bench --
Palacio scoring 12 in 25 minutes and Brown adding 14 in 30 minutes.
Utah's bench outscored Seattle's 36-20.

"Those guys, they've got experience and they're getting an
opportunity to play. They play really hard and played really well
for us," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.

The Jazz led by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter, but Seattle
made one final rally. Down 84-71 with 5:10 left, Lewis made a
3-pointer, igniting a 10-2 run by the SuperSonics and pulling them
to 86-81 with 2:35 left.

Reggie Evans got the rebound and scored after missing two free
throws with 1:41 left, but Okur made just his second basket of the
quarter, a 3-pointer with 1:26 left to give the Jazz an 89-83 lead.

Lewis scored and Allen made two free throws to get Seattle
within 89-87, but Utah's Jarron Collins got an offensive rebound
and drew a foul on Collison with 19 seconds. He made both free
throws to put the Jazz up 91-87, before Allen's final miss.

Utah's largest lead was 17, early in the third quarter.

"Home teams are always going to make that run at you," Brown
said. "Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen did a great job with that. They
put a lot of pressure on us, but we withstood all that and got a
great win."

Utah's Andrei Kirilenko, Matt Harpring and Keith McLeod all were
out with injuries. Harpring scored 12 points Monday night against
Milwaukee, but has been told he cannot play in back-to-back games
because of offseason surgery on his right knee.

Game notes
Injured Seattle Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin sat courtside.
Hamlin was injured in a fight outside a Seattle nightclub early on
Oct. 17. ... Seattle G Rick Brunson had a setback in his recovery
from plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Brunson was pain free, but
experienced discomfort in the foot after participating in a full
practice on Saturday. He was inactive on Sunday against Sacramento
and Tuesday against Utah and Weiss had no timetable for his return.