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Big-play Okur rises to occasion with winning 3-pointer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Mehmet Okur is quickly becoming the Utah
Jazz's shot-maker with the game on the line.

Okur hit a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left to help the Utah Jazz
hold off the Seattle SuperSonics 109-107 on Saturday night.

"Since last year, he has hit so many big shots for us. He can
struggle all game, it doesn't matter, he'll take that big one,"
said Deron Williams, who had 18 points and nine assists.

Okur is earning a penchant for game-winners and calls his late,
long-range shots: "Moneyballs."

"You know, right place at the right time. I think D-Will did a
great job. He just pushed the ball hard," said Okur, who missed
his first four shots. "It was a good pass and I was open. I have
confidence in my shot."

So do his teammates.

"Memo hits big shots," said Carlos Boozer, who led Utah with
24 points and made a putback to give Utah a 106-105 lead with 11.5
seconds left.

Ray Allen scored 20 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter,
including a drive past Andrei Kirilenko for a layup with seven
seconds left that gave Seattle a 107-106 lead.

But that left too much time for the Jazz. Without calling a
timeout, Deron Williams rushed the ball up the court and found Okur
open in the right corner for a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left.

Allen had one last chance but missed a hurried 27-footer as time
expired.

"He's a great player," Williams said of Allen. "He struggled
a little bit with his shot early in the game, but when it came to
the fourth quarter, he brought them back single-handedly."

After the game, Allen was more interested in talking about the
officials and his lack of offensive opportunities in the first
three quarters.

"I thought tonight we had a bad whistle, plain and simple,"
said Allen, who made 13-of-14 free throws. "I can sit here and be
disappointed at the calls that they made, which were the wrong
calls, but we still had opportunities to win the game."

Allen entered the fourth quarter shooting 2-of-10 from the
field, but made 6-of-9 shots, including three 3-pointers to erase
Utah's 14-point lead in the final period.

"I tell Luke (Ridnour) and Earl (Watson) that they have to get
me involved in the game in the first three quarters instead of
waiting and trying to figure out what's going to happen, because I
do some good things when I'm on the floor," Allen said.

Paul Millsap had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Okur had 12
points for the Jazz, who have now won 31 straight games when
leading as they enter the fourth quarter, the longest active string
in the NBA.

"We're having fun. It's been great so far, and hopefully, we're
going to keep doing what we've been doing out there all season,"
Okur said.

Following a 12-1 start, Utah (14-4) had dropped three of its
last four.

"It's definitely important. It's a big game for us, we needed
this win to get back on track," Williams said.

The Jazz, who lead the league in rebounding margin, took control
of the game by controlling the boards and outrebounded the Sonics
40-31. The Sonics did not get one offensive rebound in the fourth
quarter.

Rashard Lewis scored 27 for Seattle, which has lost four of its
last five games. Luke Ridnour and Chris Wilcox each had 13.<
^Notes: The Jazz have the best record in the league again. . ...
Boozer's emphatic dunk just before halftime earned him a technical
foul for hanging on the rim and scissor-kicking his legs. . ... Bob
Hill got a technical with 4:58 left in the third quarter. The Jazz
beat the Sonics 118-109 in Seattle on Nov. 17. Utah is 12-1 when
outrebounding their opponent.