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Harpring, Williams lead Jazz past Spurs

Nov 30, 2006 - 4:46 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The combined effort of Matt Harpring and Deron Williams guided the Utah Jazz to some rare success against the San Antonio Spurs.

Harpring and Williams made big plays down the stretch as the Jazz posted an 83-75 victory over the Spurs, who have endured back-to-back losses on the road following a 7-0 start away from home.

Carlos Boozer scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for Utah, which entered the contest losers of 21 of its last 23 meetings with San Antonio, including all three matchups last season.

"You definitely know this team (San Antonio) is going to be in the playoffs and be one of the higher seeds in the West, and it just feels good to get a win against a team like that especially when we've been struggling like we have," Williams said.

Harpring had six points during a decisive 15-5 run. Williams contributed five during the spurt and Mehmet Okur capped the surge with a 3-pointer for an 82-73 cushion with 60 seconds left.

"He's (Williams) played that way pretty much all along," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "He's been terrific when we come down the stretch because he's not afraid to take the shot, he can get shots and people have to be aware of other people, and he can find other people when they get themselves open as well. That's why he's becoming a special player as time goes on."

"They (the Jazz) broke open there late in the fourth, and we turned it over twice in a row, and they came down and scored both times," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "That was the back-breaking point of the game."

Williams collected 15 points and nine assists and Harpring had 13 and 12 boards for the Jazz, who avoided a third straight loss.

"We lost our last two; we don't want to be losers, we want to be winners," Boozer said. "So every game we play is going to be big for us. Obviously, we were back at home; we lost our first game at home and that left a bad taste in our mouth the other day. We wanted to correct that today."

Utah fell to Orlando, 88-75, here Monday.

Tim Duncan collected 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks and Bruce Bowen added a season-high 17 points on five 3-pointers for the Spurs, who were outrebounded, 50-34.

"I don't know if it was (us) as much as him (Duncan) missing," Sloan said. "Tim Duncan's one of those guys that usually makes them, so I don't think you want to jump out there and pat yourself on the back because he missed some shots. We did a fairly decent job trying to give help; we couldn't do much with Bowen."

Duncan did not score in the final 12 minutes.

The Jazz trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half but used a 9-3 run to close the second quarter and pull within 39-37 at the break.

"We started out the same way a little bit, we started with not so much energy," said Williams of the team's slow that led to Monday's loss. "But we were able to bounce back in the second quarter and in the second half especially and get a lift."

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