Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Saturday, November 5th
Suns97Final
Jazz88
Game 2: Friday, November 18th
Jazz94Final
Suns102
Game 3: Tuesday, March 21st
Suns99Final
Jazz107

Suns 99

(45-21, 19-12 away)

Jazz 107

(32-35, 17-16 home)

8:30 PM ET, March 21, 2006

EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

1 2 3 4 T
PHX 28 31 21 1999
UTAH 26 21 36 24107

Top Performers

PHX: S. Nash 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl

UTAH: A. Kirilenko 22 Pts, 18 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

Kirilenko has 22 points, career-high 18 rebounds

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- For a while, Andrei Kirilenko looked like the only Utah player who could keep up with the Phoenix Suns.

Once his teammates caught up, the Jazz rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat the Suns 107-99 Tuesday.

Kirilenko had 22 points, a career-high 18 rebounds and blocked four shots in the second half and Deron Williams, a rookie going head-to-head with league MVP Steve Nash, finished with 17 points and 11 assists.

Utah held Phoenix, which took 94 shots in the game, to 12 field goals in the second half and set a season high with 36 points in the third quarter.

"Sometimes you get streaks in a game. Cold and hot streaks, and I think we just found that streak and we just started playing hot defensively," Kirilenko said.

Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur also had double-doubles for the Jazz, who avoided a season sweep by the Suns.

Nash had 20 points and 10 assists to lead Phoenix.

The Suns were just 12-for-46 from the floor in the second half and lost consecutive games for the first time in almost two months.

Raja Bell, who played two seasons in Utah, scored 18 against his former team and Shawn Marion had 15 points and nine rebounds for Phoenix.

"Everybody can speculate why we dropped the ball there in the second half, but the bottom line is we did. I don't know," Bell said.

The Jazz outrebounded the Suns 54-35 and avoided falling five games under .500, staying in contention for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"It's good to win one because if we lost, we would have been even further back," Kirilenko said.

The Suns led by 12 at halftime and took a 62-47 lead on James Jones' 3-pointer to open the third quarter. The Jazz responded by outscoring Phoenix 36-18 the rest of the period.

"We did a better job of staying in front of them and not letting them get on top of the basket every time," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "And that was a huge thing because the first half was atrocious."

Phoenix allowed the 15-point lead to fall to three, then the Suns looked to be off and running again with four straight points and Marion all alone heading in for a layup. But Kirilenko caught Marion from behind and blocked the shot, sparking a huge shift for the Jazz.

It invigorated the home fans and the Jazz responded with 11 straight points to take a 77-73 lead. Kirilenko had a tip-in to tie it at 73, Boozer followed that with a layup and Williams capped the surge with a jumper from the top of the key.

"I think we were soft defensively," Nash said. "They got easy layups and on the offensive end we went through a big drought."

The Suns missed 14 of 18 shots to open the fourth but stayed in it until the final few minutes. Utah led 102-96 after a three-point play by Nash and Marion was about to get the Suns within four, then Kirilenko swatted another shot into the crowd.

Kirilenko followed with a dunk off a pass from Williams, then sealed it on two free throws with 34.6 seconds left.

Game notes


The Jazz outrebounded the Suns 34-16 in the second half. ... Kirilenko's previous career high for rebounds was 16. ... Okur had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Boozer scored 23 and pulled down 10 boards. ... The Suns hadn't lost back-to-back games since Jan. 22 and 24 against Seattle and Orlando. ... The most the Jazz had scored in a quarter was 35 in the fourth at Philadelphia on Jan. 11

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PHX
UTAH
Points 99 107
FGM-FGA 38-94 (.404) 41-80 (.513)
3PM-3PA 11-33 (.333) 6-10 (.600)
FTM-FTA 12-14 (.857) 19-26 (.731)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-35 14-54
Assists 21 28
Turnovers 7 14
Steals 9 4
Blocks 3 7
Fast Break Points 19 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
Largest Lead 15 9

Top Performers

Phoenix
Utah
Steve Nash Nash
Points: 20
Reb: 6
Ast: 10
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Andrei Kirilenko Kirilenko
Points: 22
Reb: 18
Ast: 1
Stl: 2
Blk: 4