Bulls 101 - 100 Jazz
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Hughes buries buzzer-beat to sink Jazz at home

Nov 25, 2008 - 6:09 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Few teams get even one chance to beat the Utah Jazz at home. The Chicago Bulls got two on Monday night - and with their second chance, they did the nearly impossible.

After Derrick Rose's game-winning attempt clanked off the rim, Larry Hughes grabbed the rebound, stepped up and buried the game-winning 18-footer to deal the Jazz their first home loss of the season, 101-100.

"I've never had a walk off, with no time on the clock. I've hit some game-winners, but never without any time on the clock," Hughes said. "It felt pretty good."

Utah had won 14 straight and 33 of 34 regular-season games at EnergySolutions Arena - but were up against it on Monday facing a red-hot rookie in Rose, who poured in 25 points and dished out nine assists.

"He took the game over," Bulls guard Ben Gordon said. "We put the ball in his hands pretty much the entire fourth quarter and he did exactly what we needed him to do. That was a big performance for him."

The Jazz once again were without their own star point guard, as Deron Williams missed his 13th game with a sprained left ankle that he suffered, fittingly, in the preseason when he landed awkwardly on Rose's foot.

The final three minutes went back-and-forth, with the lead changing hands 10 times in that span. But every time the Jazz took the lead, Rose answered. Ronnie Brewer buried a 3-pointer to give Utah a 92-91 edge, but Rose answered with hard drive to the basket and an easy layup. Andrei Kirilenko answered with a lay-in and Rose responded with a pair of free throws.

"Coach just told me to drive every time and try to beat your man," Rose said. "I just wanted to win. If they're backing off, I'm shooting. If they go for the double team, I'm making the pass. I'm going to the hole and making free throws, whatever it takes to win."

On the next two possessions, Mehmet Okur put the Jazz ahead - first with a dunk and then with an 18-footer with a defender in his face. And both times, Rose responded with a bucket in the lane.

With the Bulls leading, 99-98, with 14 seconds left, Okur misfired on a 3-point attempt, but Brewer grabbed the rebound and dished to C.J. Miles, who dropped in the go-ahead layup.

"That last two minutes, whoever had the ball, it looked like they were going to win," Miles said. "We're not shocked to lose at home. We're shocked to lose that game, period. We should have won it."

Rose calmly ran it up the floor on the other end and looked like he was going to do it again - only he fired long. But the rebound bounced right to Hughes, who played the hero to stun a sellout crowd.

"When that stuff happens, it kind of goes in slow motion," Hughes said. "I see the whole play. I (saw) the rebound, I (saw) him go in and try to get the rebound. And once I got it, I saw (Miles) was closing out, so I knew I could get a fake in and get off to the side and get a good look."

The 6-5 swingman finished with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting.

The buzzer-beater was a much-needed reprieve for the Bulls, who had lost three of four and had won just one game away from the United Center all season. With two games left on their seven-game road swing, winning in Salt Lake City seemed like the least likely scenario for road win No. 2.

But the energy from the backcourt combo of Rose and Ben Gordon provided the spark they needed. Chicago held a slim lead for much of the night before the Jazz stormed ahead in the third quarter. But Gordon keyed a 12-2 run bridging the final two frames, burying a pair of jumpers to spark the surge that gave the Bulls a 78-75 lead.

"We put the ball in Derrick's hands and let him do a lot of the attacking, and used our perimeter guys to try to open up some space," Hughes said.

As the teams went tit-for-tat down the stretch, the Jazz's already depleted lineup shrunk smaller and smaller. One of their biggest assets is their depth, as they typically go 10 strong in their regular rotation. When the night started, that rotation had been cut down to six - with Williams joined on the bench by leading scorer Carlos Boozer (bruised left quadriceps), Kyle Korver (sprained right wrist) and Matt Harpring (stiff lower back).

By the time the end of the game rolled around, two more had departed. Paul Millsap fouled out in the fourth after a huge night and backup point guard Brevin Knight suffered a sprained left index finger in the third and did not return.

"We don't feel sorry for ourselves," Knight said. "We still feel like those of us that are healthy enough to play are capable of winning games. We're pros. We come into this to be ready to play when your name and number are called."

Millsap collected 21 points and 10 boards before fouling out, while Okur put together his best output of the season with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting.

Kirilenko had a tough shooting night but chipped in with four points, six boards and eight assists for the Jazz, while Ronnie Brewer added 18 and three steals.

"I hate to lose," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I don't care where it is. I thought we started off like we had a built-in excuse not to win. I didn't think we ran the floor very hard. I thought we came out real soft in a lot of areas, and that's where you've got to take advantage of every opportunity that's out there."

Drew Gooden provided a presence inside for Chicago with 18 points and six rebounds.'

Chicago continues its road trip Wednesday at San Antonio, while Utah remains home to take on Memphis - as Williams is finally expected to make his return to the court.