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Williams leads Jazz to eighth straight win

Nov 25, 2006 - 4:51 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant blocked Deron Williams' path to victory, but only temporarily.

Williams scored seven of his 15 points in the final 90 seconds as the Utah Jazz won their eighth straight game, rallying for a 114-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Carlos Boozer had 31 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz (12-1), who had six scorers in double figures as they fought back from a significant deficit for the fourth straight game.

"We don't want to make a habit of it," Williams said. "That's something we've got to consciously try to stop and it'll happen. It just shows that we're fighters.

"Nobody's going to quit on this team. We're going to play to the end. We've done that the last four games when we've been down."

The Lakers held an 89-82 lead early in the fourth quarter before Boozer scored six points in a 10-2 run that gave the Jazz the lead. Utah was nursing a 103-102 edge with 3 1/2 minutes to go when Williams came up with a steal.

Williams dribbled upcourt and went up for a dunk that was cleanly blocked by Bryant, leading to two free throws by Luke Walton that gave Los Angeles its last lead.

"It made me a little mad," Williams said. "I didn't get up like I wanted to. I had that Ronnie Brewer one-leg dunk, (but) my one leg was kinda weak. He made a good play on the ball. I didn't think he was going to jump because he didn't jump before."

Rather than recoiling, the second-year point guard took charge of the game.

"I got blocked, but after that, everybody knows I want to take the shots when it comes down to it," Williams said. "I really didn't hit shots all game, so I wanted to make up for that. ... I'm always going to try to do that. That's part of my game and that's just who I am."

A jumper by Mehmet Okur reclaimed the lead for Utah and Williams drilled a jumper for a 107-104 advantage with 1:26 to go.

"(Williams) made some big plays," Boozer said. "He had a tough game going for him and he didn't think about it. He went out and hit a few shots, a couple big shots, made a couple big passes ... the next thing you know, we had the lead and we went from there."

After Lamar Odom tied it with a three-point play, Williams drilled a 3-pointer for a 110-107 edge with a minute to go. Odom missed a short hook and Williams drained two free throws with 38 seconds remaining.

"I put the blame on myself," Odom said. "I got a three-point play, they come back down, hit a 3-pointer, then I miss a layup. That play kind of changed the game."

Odom split a pair from the line before Boozer sealed it with a follow shot with 8.7 seconds to play.

Okur had 18 points and 12 rebounds and former Laker Derek Fisher scored 13 points for the Jazz, who shot 54 percent (42-of-78) from the field and held a 45-27 advantage on the glass.

"It feels good to win," Williams said. "We're happy to be winning and we want to keep it going. We don't want to get complacent and we don't want to get full of ourselves because we've had some close games that could have gone either way. We realize that."

Bryant scored 27 points but did not have a basket in the fourth quarter, serving as a decoy for Odom and Kwame Brown as he was shadowed by defensive demon Andrei Kirilenko.

"In the fourth quarter, I kind of took on the role of facilitator," Bryant said. "Kwame played extremely well, Lamar got in a rhythm. We were going to ride that momentum as much as we possibly could."

"When I was guarding him, I don't remember him scoring any points," Kirilenko said. "Don't get me wrong - the next time it will be different. But I don't think he scored on me in the fourth quarter."

Odom added 26 points and Brown 15 for the Lakers, who shot 47 percent (35-of-74) but have lost five of their last six visits to EnergySolutions Arena.

Williams scored just two points on 1-of-5 shooting in the first half. Bryant scored 17 points, helping Los Angeles rally from an 11-point deficit to take a 53-50 lead.

"He didn't get a lot of the kinds of looks he likes," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said of Williams. "We didn't run a lot of pick-and-rolls the first half. That's one of the things we always try to do at times. ... When he's involved in that, he can make shots and he can make plays."

Odom scored 13 points in the third quarter as the Lakers widened their advantage to 88-82 entering the final period, when the Jazz climbed back into it.

"They're very disciplined, well-coached," Odom said. "Their record speaks for itself."

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