Jefferson big late as Nets edge JazzMar 16, 2008 - 6:29 AM By Carl Dispoto PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Richard Jefferson overcame a shaky second half and made a driving layup in the final seconds as the New Jersey Nets rallied in a wild fourth quarter for a 117-115 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
Jefferson scored 27 points but struggled in the third and fourth quarters before taking a hard foul from Carlos Boozer with two minutes remaining. The collision seemed to wake up Jefferson, who sank the ensuing free throws to bring the Nets within 113-111 with two minutes to go.
Boozer matched his career high with a layup at the other end for the Jazz, but Vince Carter responded with a layup and Jefferson added two more free throws to tie it with 86 seconds left.
After Kyle Korver missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the other end, Jefferson drove past Andrei Kirilenko into the lane and lofted a floater that bounced around the rim before falling with less than two seconds remaining.
"It was a similar play that we ran for Vince the possession before, we just didn't use a pick-and-roll on that, just trying to get a spread with an iso at the top and just trying to attack," Jefferson said.
"On that situation, you want to win the game or put it in overtime," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Richard Jefferson had great time, great attack and didn't settle. It was a phenomenal finish and you have to give him a lot of credit."
Mehmet Okur missed a fallaway jumper over Carter from the left corner as time expired as the Nets won their second straight game following a six-game losing streak.
Carter finished with 25 points and Devin Harris collected 19, a career high-tying 12 assists and a career-best eight rebounds. Josh Boone had 21 points and 13 rebounds for New Jersey, which held a 48-29 advantage on the glass.
"We definitely had the playoff-type intensity; both tough-minded teams obviously have great players and, with that, it brought the best out of us," Harris said. "We've probably played our best two games since I've been here and, hopefully, we continue to keep it up."
Boozer made 15-of-19 shots and 11-of-13 free throws and grabbed nine rebounds, Korver had 18 points, Okur added 17 and Deron Williams collected 11 and 16 assists for the Jazz, who finished their road trip at 2-2.
"It's tough, it didn't come down to that last shot, we had chances to pull away," Williams said. "We got outworked on the boards and they had lots of hustle plays which made the difference."
NEW JERSEY 117 FINAL
Mar 15 10:07 PM
NEW JERSEY 81 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 15 9:25 PM
NEW JERSEY 50 HALFTIME
Mar 15 8:40 PM
NEW JERSEY 32 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 15 8:08 PM
- NBA draft returning to Brooklyn's Barclays Center May 18
- After long overseas career, Nets coach Atkinson back in NY May 16
- Russia bans 24 basketball players in gambling case May 13
- New Jazz uniforms include sleeved alternate jersey May 12
- Utah Jazz extend contract of coach Quin Snyder May 6
- Celtics' president Ainge embracing expectation-filled summer May 4
- Optimism high as Celtics enter a likely active offseason Apr 29
- Nets hire Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson as new coach Apr 17
- Company of Russian owner of Brooklyn Nets searched in Moscow Apr 15
- Jazz disappointed to miss playoffs, but gain experience Apr 14
- Tough season and more tough times ahead for the Nets Apr 14
- Kobe scores 60 points in unbelievable farewell victory Apr 14