Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/22

Game 1: Friday, December 22nd
Jazz89Final
Bobcats101
Game 2: Monday, March 5th
Bobcats95Final
Jazz120

Jazz 89

(19-8, 8-6 away)

Bobcats 101

(7-18, 5-9 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, December 22, 2006

    Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 13 20 31 2589
    CHA 16 37 25 23101

    Top Performers

    Utah: C. Boozer 22 Pts, 14 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Charlotte: R. Felton 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 12 Ast, 3 Stl

    Boozer gets another double-double in losing effort to Bobcats

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Matt Carroll hit the big shots and even chipped a tooth so that the Charlotte Bobcats wouldn't blow another big lead.

    Carroll scored all 16 of his points in the fourth quarter and the Bobcats held on for a 101-89 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

    The Bobcats dominated early, but the Jazz whittled a 20-point halftime to four with just over 4 minutes left. It started to feel similar to both teams' performances two nights earlier, when the Bobcats blew a 19-point lead and lost at New York, while the Jazz came from 21 down in the fourth quarter to win in Atlanta.

    But Carroll prevented both from happening again, and it started with a bizarre play early in the fourth quarter.

    Carroll, who hadn't attempted a shot in the first three quarters, launched a 3-pointer from the right wing. Andrei Kirilenko lunged at him and Carroll's follow-through hit him in the mouth, chipping his tooth. The shot fell and Kirilenko was called for the foul.

    "It was hanging and he just grabbed it and threw it to the ground," Carroll said. "I said to him, 'Are you OK?' and he said, 'It's just a tooth.' I'm thinking this guy is one tough Russian. I thought he was going to break me the next time I came down court."

    Carroll completed the 4-point play, then had a 3-point play with 3:14 left that gave Charlotte a 92-84 lead.

    Carroll's deep 3-pointer with 50 seconds left put it away for the Bobcats, who continued an unlikely trend of seemingly beating only the NBA's elite. Charlotte has only seven wins, but four are against division leaders Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando and now Utah, which is 2-3 all-time against the NBA's newest team.

    "If we made baskets, we wouldn't just be killing the giants," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said of the team's season-long shooting woes.

    Emeka Okafor had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Raymond Felton added 18 points and 12 assists and Primoz Brezec had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats, who had 16 offensive rebounds.

    Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 14 rebounds -- his league-leading 20th double-double -- and Mehmet Okur scored 19 points despite playing through a bruised chest muscle for the Jazz, who couldn't come from a 20-point deficit to win for the third time this season.

    "I was disappointed with the way we started the game. They did a terrific job of just waxing us," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.

    The Jazz managed just 13 points in the first quarter and fell behind 29-15 early in the second as Okafor and Brezec had their way inside.

    Sloan called two timeouts and picked up a technical foul midway through the second quarter, but it didn't help. Okafor's dunk with 2:57 left gave the Bobcats' their first 20-point lead and it was 53-33 at halftime.

    "We always play the same scenario," Kirilenko said. "We seem to relax in the beginning. We need to play more consistent."

    The Jazz chipped away at the deficit in the third quarter, and Matt Harpring hit three straight shots to start the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 78-70.

    Charlotte was leading 59-42 when Brevin Knight, who returned after missing four of the previous six games, left after aggravating a groin strain. Knight, who had seven points and nine assists, said he plans to a see specialist next week and will likely miss at least a week.

    That left Felton, who shot 5-for-19, as the only true point guard, but Charlotte had only 13 turnovers.

    "We dug another hole and couldn't come out of it," said Jazz guard Deron Williams, who shot 2-for-9 in the first half. "I don't know what it is. I have no clue. We've got to stop it."

    Game notes


    Okur and Charlotte's Jake Voskuhl were each given technical fouls late in the third quarter after some light shoving under the basket. Dick Bavetta, one of the officials who worked the Nuggets-Knicks brawl last week, separated the two. ... Bickerstaff said he complained to the league that New York never had clear possession and shouldn't have been granted a timeout with 0.1 seconds left in the second overtime on Wednesday night, setting up David Lee's winning tip-in at the buzzer.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    UTAH
    CHA
    Points 89 101
    FGM-FGA 31-69 (.449) 37-84 (.440)
    3PM-3PA 5-11 (.455) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 22-31 (.710) 24-33 (.727)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-39 16-43
    Assists 23 26
    Turnovers 19 13
    Steals 5 11
    Blocks 6 3
    Fast Break Points 2 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (2/0) 27 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 0 20

    Top Performers

    Utah
    Charlotte
    Carlos Boozer Boozer
    Points: 22
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Raymond Felton Felton
    Points: 18
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0