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News » Williams lifts short-handed Jazz

Williams lifts short-handed Jazz

Williams lifts short-handed Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah's power players are hurting, and Deron Williams has been for most of the season.

NBA roundup

Monday's action

  • Johnson, Hawks top Nuggets
  • Balanced Pistons upend Magic
  • Bulls get best of Carter, Nets
  • Shaq sparks Suns vs. Thunder
  • T-wolves' Jefferson has 38 in win
  • Lowly Wizards shock Rockets
  • Williams lifts short-handed Jazz
  • Warriors hold off Bosh, Raptors

    FOXSports.com analysis

    • Rosen: LeBron or D-Wade?
    • Rosen: Is Toronto set for a surge?
    • Kriegel: Pau comes through for Lakers
    • Galinsky: NBA Power Rankings

Williams got out of bed Monday feeling his best and made sure the reeling Philadelphia 76ers knew it. He scored 27 points to help the short-handed Jazz beat Philadelphia 112-95.

"It's probably the first time all season I've felt 100 percent, or close to it," Williams said. "It's the first game I've felt like that. Tonight, I was pain-free. I was definitely excited when I woke up this morning."

With two of Utah's top three scorers out with injuries and Mehmet Okur limited with a sore back, the normally unselfish Williams made 11 of 18 shots, including four 3-pointers. He has battled ankle and calf injuries since the preseason.

"He's looked so much more alive and looks healthier right now than I've seen him since he's been back," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "He has a lot more bounce in him it looks like than he had and that's great to see, because we certainly need everything he's able to give us."

Williams was able to drive to the basket and get elevation on his long-range jumpers as the 76ers played the passing lanes more than focusing on stopping the Utah point guard.

"He's our leader out there on the floor and he usually gets everyone involved. But he saw that he needed to take over tonight and score," said C.J. Miles, who had 14 points.

Okur, who missed the last two games with back spasms, did not have any explosiveness - "He looked like he was pretty worn out," Sloan said - but was crafty enough to score 19 points and grab 10 rebounds.

"They have to respect Memo everywhere on the court. He puts a lot of pressure on a defense," Williams said. "It was definitely good having him back. We needed him out there."

Andrei Kirilenko, filling in for injured power forwards Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap, had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and changed a number of shots in the lane.

Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young each scored 17 points for Philadelphia, which dropped its fourth straight and is winless on its six-game road trip with three more remaining.

"They're a great team but either we got tired or we lost focus and our defense let us down in the second half," 76ers coach Tony DiLeo said.

The Jazz led 51-43 at halftime but Kirilenko set the tone for the second half with a steal and two free throws, followed by Williams' 3- pointer.

"Deron was amazing out there," Okur said. "He's a guy who makes good things happen for us out there, and once he gets hot he never stops."

Utah's lead never again dipped below seven and Kirilenko capped the quarter with a dunk to push the Jazz advantage to 79-64.

"We didn't get the same stops we got in the first half and we got in a tough spot down the stretch," Iguodala said.

Andre Miller, who had 13 points and eight assists, tried to rally the Sixers with eight points in a 3:38 span of the fourth quarter, but fouled out with 5:04 left to play.

After the Sixers pulled within 14, Kirilenko made a layup and Okur nailed Utah's eighth 3-pointer to put the game out of reach and send the starters to the bench. The 76ers made only one of their nine attempts from 3-point range and committed 15 turnovers that led to 20 points for the Jazz.

The 76ers had 25 fast-break points but got bogged down in their halfcourt sets and exerted little resistance as Williams and the Jazz repeatedly drove the lane and hit open jumpers.

"They're a really good team that really executes and plays well together and it's really tough if you are not on your game defensively," DiLeo said.

Utah swept the series for the second straight season and has won seven of eight and 13 of their last 16 meetings.

Kyle Korver scored 12 points and had five assists as the Jazz got a victory to start a key six-game stretch that features five at home.

The Sixers got 14 points from Louis Williams in their fifth straight game without Elton Brand, who has a right shoulder dislocation. The 76ers have dropped four straight after starting 3-0 under DiLeo, who replaced Maurice Cheeks.


Reggie Evans got a technical foul for a forceful pat on Korver's backside that was deemed taunting by official Kevin Fehr with 7:29 remaining in the game. Marreese Speights also got a flagrant 1 foul in the final minutes for a hard foul on Kyrylo Fesenko. It was the one-year anniversary of Utah's acquisition from the Sixers of Korver, who helped the Jazz go 38-12 last season after starting 16-16 before the trade.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 30, 2008


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