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Jazz get Williams back and return to winning ways

Nov 12, 2008 - 6:14 AM By Michael Luongo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Deron Williams returned to the lineup and the Utah Jazz got back to winning games with a 93-80 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

A sprained left ankle had kept Williams out of Utah's first six games of the season, including a loss in New York on Sunday. He had seven points and nine assists on Tuesday as Utah won for the sixth time in seven games to start the new campaign.

Philadelphia scored only 37 points in the first half and trailed by 12. The 76ers stormed back in the third, scoring 30 points to take a 67-63 lead into the final period.

"The way they play puts a lot of pressure on our defense," Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. "Utah shoots a lot of lay-ups and when you turn the ball over, it puts a lot of pressure on your defense. When we turn the ball over, we end up scoring to get back into the game. We have go to push the ball and get easy baskets."

But the 76ers went cold and Ronnie Brewer heated up. Philadelphia managed only 13 points over the final 12 minutes while Brewer overcame an 0-for-9 start in the first half by scoring all 16 of his points in the fourth.

"One point, two points, anything would have got me going," Brewer said. "My teammates stuck with me and told me to continue to play and the shots will fall down. I thought that I was playing good on the defensive end, getting rebounds and getting steals and I felt that my offense would catch up with me. I just happened to knock some points in."

Andre Miller and Elton Brand combined to score 16 of Philadelphia's first 18 points as the 76ers took an 18-15 lead. The Jazz responded with an 11-0 run. Carlos Boozer had four points in the run that was capped by a 3-pointer by Ronnie Price that gave the Jazz a 26 -18 lead. They took a 26-20 after one.

Each team had an 11-2 run in the second quarter. Kareem rush hit a three that sparked Philadelphia's run that cut the Utah lead to 38-35. Ronnie Millsap answered with a jumper that started an 11-2 run for the Jazz that included a 3-pointer by former Sixer Kyle Korver.

Boozer again had four points in that run that gave the Jazz a 49-37 halftime lead.

"We're a team that is trying to improve on the road," Boozer said. "On of the things that we have to improve on is finishing games down the stretch which we didn't do in New York. It was something that we wanted to focus on. If we play good defense down the stretch, we will have a chance to win."

Miller scored 10 points in a 16-2 run for the Sixers, who dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Jazz, 30-14. He began the run with a fast break lay-up and capped the run with back to back lay-ups that gave the Sixers a 61-59 lead with 3:47 to go in the third.

The 76ers took a 67-63 lead after three but could not keep up with Brewer and the jazz over the final quarter.

"He looked great. Everybody was worried about his scoring but he almost had a triple double tonight," Boozer said of Brewer. "He took the game over in the fourth quarter. He was getting steals for dunks and jump shots. He played a great game.

"It was a game of two half's In the first half, he was getting everybody involved and in the second half, he was knocking down shots."