SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Deron Williams atoned for a rookie mistake
with a clutch shot.
Williams' runner in the lane with 2.4 seconds left lifted the
Utah Jazz to a 105-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday,
despite blowing a 13-point lead in the final period.
Just 7.3 seconds before he banked the game-winner off the glass,
Williams had fouled Sam Cassell, who made both free throws to
complete a frenzied comeback for the Clippers.
"I fouled him and I had to make up for it," said Williams, who
finished with 10 points and seven assists.
The Jazz beat the Clippers for the 32nd time in the last 33
meetings in Utah -- barely.
Cassell nearly won it for Los Angeles, but his half-court shot
at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
Mehmet Okur led the Jazz with 29 points, including 14 in the
fourth quarter, and Carlos Boozer had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"They're a great team. It was only a matter of time before they
made a little bit of a push. We did a good job of holding our
own," Boozer said.
Elton Brand scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and
led the Clippers to a late rally that tied it, but Los Angeles
never held a lead.
"We have to play the way we played at the end of the game,"
Brand said. "We've got to start the game off with a sense of
urgency and intensity."
The Jazz ended the Clippers' three-game winning streak and
pulled within 2½ games of Denver in the Northwest Division. They
also made up for an embarrassing 15-point loss to Charlotte at home
two nights before.
"We played a lot harder. That's the main thing," Jazz coach
Jerry Sloan said. "That was interesting that we did that."
Vladimir Radmanovic scored 17 points and pulled down 13
rebounds, Cuttino Mobley had 12 points and Chris Kaman returned
after missing two games with a sprained ankle to finish with 10
points and eight rebounds. Corey Maggette, back after missing 39
games with a foot injury, scored 12 points in 25 minutes for the
After allowing Utah to score the first seven points of the final
quarter and take an 84-71 lead, the Clippers slowly rallied and set
up a thrilling finish.
"They play really hard and do a lot of good things out there,
and we just didn't counter it," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said.
The Clippers did counter it, but not quite enough.
Radmanovic made a 3-pointer that cut Utah's lead to 98-97 with
1:27 remaining. The Jazz answered with Okur's backboard-shaking,
two-handed dunk off a pass from Williams with 1:08 remaining.
Maggette got the Clippers within a point again on a reverse
layup, but Okur answered that with a 3-pointer that got the sellout
crowd roaring with the home team up 103-99. But it wasn't quite
Brand got the Clippers within two again with 27.5 seconds left
and Utah could have run the clock to less than 4 seconds. But Devin
Brown tried a layup, which Brand stuffed, and the Clippers got the
ball back with 11.9 seconds left.
Williams fouled Cassell, who made both free throws, but atoned
for it at the other end when he dribbled to the top of the lane and
let a shot go just past the free-throw line. Andrei Kirilenko
nearly tipped it, but didn't touch it, and the ball bounced off the
glass and through the hoop.
"We brought it tonight and we've got to keep doing that the
rest of the season if we want to make the playoffs," Boozer said.
The Clippers and Jazz meet only three times this season.
This was the only game in Utah. ... Utah had just one turnover in
the first half and six in the game. ... The Jazz struggled from the
free-throw line again, making 18 of 29. ... The Clippers had 14