for this game

Brown sparks late spurt as Jazz edge Rockets

Apr 19, 2007 - 5:40 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Dee Brown led the Utah Jazz to a victory over the Houston Rockets that they would like to repeat this weekend.

Brown scored eight points in a key fourth-quarter run to lead the Jazz to a 101-91 victory over the Rockets in the regular-season finale for both teams.

While the Jazz (51-31) secured the fourth seed in the Western Conference with the Northwest Division title, the Rockets (52-30) clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs by notching the fourth-best record.

The teams will start their postseason series this weekend in Houston.

"We're really excited," Jazz forward Carlos Boozer said. "We're going to start our preparation (Thursday), get a lot of film in, go through some of their plays and continue to do that for the next couple of days."

Despite playing without Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo, the Rockets were within 75-71 entering the fourth quarter.

That's when Brown took over, scoring eight of his career-high 13 points in a 15-4 run to start the fourth quarter that gave Utah a 90-75 lead with 7:01 to play.

In fact, it was Utah's young guys and reserves that got it done for most of the night. The shorthanded Rockets jumped out to a 19-5 lead, as Juwan Howard and Luther Head scored 10 points apiece in the first quarter alone.

"We still have to bring out lunch pail," Howard said. "Every time you go out there and compete against Utah, no matter who is out there, no matter who's dressed or not, we still have to go out there and play Rockets basketball."

The Jazz bench, which logged most of the minutes in the second half, helped erase that deficit and take control in the fourth quarter.

"It didn't flow very well for our starters out there," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "It was fun to watch the other guys step out there and play hard. They seemed to be enthused, the fans were excited and I tried to give them more minutes."

Brown dished out eight assists, including several to fellow rookies Paul Millsap, who had a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards, and Ronnie Brewer, who chipped in with seven points.

"I know my role and when my number is called, I'm going to go out there and play," Brown said. "You've got to be patient, you've got to be a student of the game and when the time comes for you to play, you've got to go out there and perform."

Howard scored 20 points and Head added 18 for the Rockets, who lost three of the four meetings between the teams this season.

For the Jazz, who improved to 31-10 at home tied for third-best in the NBA Gordan Giricek scored 14 on 6-of-10 shooting as the bench outscored the starters, 67-34.

  • NBA
    HOUSTON 91
    UTAH 101 FINAL

    Apr 18 11:27 PM

  • NBA
    HOUSTON 71
    UTAH 75 END, 3RD QTR

    Apr 18 10:52 PM

  • NBA
    HOUSTON 47

    Apr 18 10:06 PM

  • NBA
    HOUSTON 32
    UTAH 20 END, 1ST QTR

    Apr 18 9:34 PM