Suns 117 - 120 Jazz
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Williams, Millsap lead Jazz over Suns

Nov 19, 2006 - 5:15 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- They're not John Stockton and Karl Malone, but Deron Williams and Paul Millsap may soon start drawing comparisons.

Williams had 25 points and 14 assists and Millsap also recorded a double-double as the Utah Jazz posted a come-from-behind, 120-117 overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Carlos Boozer added 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz (9-1), who tied the 1999 squad led by Stockton and Malone for the franchise's best start.

"We're working hard every day," Boozer said. "We're trying to get better every day and if we continue to do that, we'll have a chance to win every game we play."

Just like the first game of the season between the teams on November 3, when Utah came back from a 15-point deficit and ended the game on a 13-3 run for a 108-104 triumph, the Jazz overcame a 16-point third-quarter deficit to win their season-high fifth straight game.

"We're just happy to be winning, happy to be on top of the NBA standings right now, and we just hope to keep that up," Williams said.

Williams scored five points in the final 70 seconds and Mehmet Okur added three free throws with 13 seconds remaining to force the extra session.

Millsap, a rookie whose nickname is "Paper Boy," went to the same school as Malone - Louisiana Tech. Malone was known as "The Mailman."

"Paper Boy" scored six straight points for Utah in overtime, turning a 111-110 deficit into a 116-113 lead with 1:40 left. He scored on a follow shot, two free throws and a nifty driving reverse layup in which he used his left hand. He also added a critical block.

"I just want to show everybody what I can do," Millsap said. "Getting drafted in the second round is not always a good thing, but it was a good thing for me in this situation for me to come to this good program.

"I have a lot of confidence right now. I give thanks to my coaches and teammates for that. Coming into the game being a rookie, it's hard for us. But I try to come in and do what I can."

Millsap finished with season highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 22 minutes.

"He just keeps playing and tries to do something that's worthwhile," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "He's got tremendous basketball understanding and instinct to be able to play this game. He's been an interesting guy for our coaches right off the bat. We liked what he did in summer league and training camp.

"It's amazing you hardly hear anything out of him, they just liked what he did on the floor. ... Just tell him and he does it. There was another player (Malone) that did that a great deal when he was here for 18 years.

Williams hit a jumper with 34 seconds left for a 118-115 lead before Kurt Thomas followed his own miss for the Suns. Boozer then converted two free throws with 11 seconds left before Marcus Banks' 3-point attempt from the left corner went in-and-out and Leandro Barbosa's shot from the arc hit off the front rim.

"It was a tough night for us," said Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds. "Utah came out and played pretty good. We went up 15, 16 points, we weren't able to maintain our lead, they came back in the fourth and were able to send it to overtime.

"We missed a couple shots at the end there, and they pulled off the win.

Shawn Marion led the Suns with 35 points, including the club's first nine in overtime, and Raja Bell scored 20.

Playing without Steve Nash (back) for a second straight game, Phoenix also finished the game minus Bell and Stoudemire, both of whom fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

"I think it was a really good game," Barbosa said. "Utah is doing a good job in all of their games and they did a great job tonight. We lost a couple players that are important to our team, and I think they did take advantage of that."

Barbosa finished with 15 points and 11 assists but made just 4-of-16 shots from the floor. He missed two potential game-winning layups in the last 26 seconds to allow Utah to get into the extra session.

After Williams converted a three-point play with 48 seconds left to pull Utah within 106-103, Barbosa missed an easy left baseline drive. Barbosa then fouled Okur on a 3-point attempt from straightaway with 13 seconds left. The Turkish big man made all three free throws to tie it.

"I don't think I fouled, but they had to say I fouled, so he made the three free throws and that was good for them," Barbosa said.

Barbosa then had a chance to win it, but his driving layup on the right side spun out with two seconds left.

"Bad luck. I threw it the way I always do, it didn't go in," Barbosa said. "But it's OK. We've got to keep it up and think about the next game."

Barbosa scored 11 points as Phoenix outscored Utah, 35-19, in the third period to take an 86-73 lead.

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