Williams leads Jazz over 76ers 97-76Dec 27, 2009 - 5:48 AM By DOUG ALDEN AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY(AP) -- The Utah Jazz made the most of a brief stop at home.
The Jazz traded scoring runs with Philadelphia for three quarters, then shut down the 76ers in the fourth period Saturday night for a 97-76 victory.
Utah held Philadelphia scoreless for nearly nine minutes to pull away to a blowout in the Jazz's first home game in almost two weeks.
"We got off to a terrible start. The way we played it was a good thing we had a chance to make amends a little bit," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We have to learn how to cut the turnovers down because those things have been killing us."
The Jazz ended a two-game losing streak, which appeared in jeopardy of becoming three in a row with 12 turnovers in the first half. Utah cut the giveaways to eight in the second half and beat Philadelphia for the sixth straight time.
Deron Williams had 27 points and eight assists to lead the Jazz and Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Mehmet Okur and Wesley Matthews scored 16 apiece for Utah, which held Philadelphia to just three field goals in the fourth quarter.
"We were more aggressive defensively," said Williams, who made 10 of 14 shots and all four of his 3-point attempts. "We had a lot more energy. We still had some turnovers, but we did a better job of protecting the ball."
The Jazz hadn't played at home since Dec. 14 and play their next two on the road, starting Wednesday in Minnesota.
Thaddeus Young scored 20 for the Sixers, who played much of the game without starting center Samuel Dalembert. Dalembert had three fouls midway through the first quarter and played just 16:24, but still managed to pull down nine rebounds.
Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday added 10 points apiece for Philadelphia, which was outrebounded 49-39 and had just 11 assists to Utah's 24.
"We need to take a page from their book - share the ball and play some team defense and we'll be fine," Brand said.
The Sixers, who lost their third straight and were without Allen Iverson for the fourth consecutive game, hung with Utah through the first three quarters, then fell apart in the fourth.
"In the fourth quarter we didn't put any sort of rhythm or flow together," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. "Their defense was good. We missed some open shots and we didn't execute as well as we would like."
The Sixers are 0-2 on a six-game road trip that continues Monday in Portland, where they hope Iverson will be able to play again after missing four straight with knee and shoulder problems.
Philadelphia went scoreless from Royal Ivey's 3-pointer with 50 seconds left in the third until Young made a layup with 4:05 remaining in the game.
Ivey had pulled the Sixers within 72-64 entering the fourth, but the Jazz were able to slowly build up the lead as Philadelphia missed shot after shot. The Sixers were just 3 for 23 in the period and were outscored 25-12.
"We had been playing great defense throughout the whole game," Boozer said. "In that fourth quarter, something's got to give and it gave our way."
Philadelphia had another drought in the first half as the Jazz rallied from a brief deficit.
Young hit a 3-pointer to put Philadelphia up 19-15, then the Jazz scored the last 10 points of the first quarter and the first seven of the second period. Williams started the 17-0 run with a 3-pointer, followed by a no-look pass from Andrei Kirilenko to Boozer for a three-point play.
Williams also hooked up in the first half on a long-distance alley-oop to Ronnie Brewer, who finished it off with a reverse dunk.
NOTES: Utah beat Philadelphia for the sixth straight time. ... Brand went tumbling over the scorers' table late in the third quarter but was OK. ... Dalembert had three fouls within the first 6:41 of the first quarter, picked up another in the second and had five within the first minute of the third quarter.
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