93 - 89 Final
  for this game

Heat frustrate Jazz en route to big road win

Dec 4, 2008 - 6:32 AM By Tony Pizza PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Losing streaks don't happen at EnergySolutions Arena very often. But the Miami Heat gave the Utah Jazz their first in 19 months.

Dwyane Wade, who was a game-time decision due to lingering migraines, scored 23 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and four steals to lead the Heat over the shorthanded Jazz, 93-89, on Wednesday night.

It was the third home loss in five games for the Jazz, who dropped back-to-back home contests for the first time since April 11-14, 2007.

"They did a good job of defending us and trying to take us out of our offense," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "They showed a good deal more desire to try and win the ballgame. I thought we had ourselves in a tough situation most of the night."

Deron Williams drained a 3-point bucket with 1:10 left in the game and Paul Millsap followed it up with a layup as part of a 7-0 Jazz run to cut Miami's 11-point lead to four with 37 seconds remaining. But the Jazz could not dig themselves out of a hole despite holding the Heat to just 19 points in the fourth.

"Well, I think this team got introduced a little bit in the fourth quarter to what playoff-type intensity on the road - that type of level - what it is," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "I thought it was just a real gritty win."

Wade missed a 20-footer on the other end, but the Jazz missed out on a chance to pull closer as Williams missed from the arc and the Heat held on.

"It was a tough loss," said Ronnie Brewer, who had 18 points in the setback. "It was a close game. We fought to try to get back at the end, but they went on a streak, got up a little bit on us and they knocked some shots down at the end."

The Jazz squandered several other chances in the final frame to cut into Miami's lead - either by dropping a defensive rebound, turning the ball over after a defensive stop or missing wide-open shots.

"We tried to get back in the game with a few hustle plays, but that's not enough, so it was a tough loss," Sloan said.

Utah, which was without All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer (quadriceps) for the seventh straight game and Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) for the second, had Miami's lead down to seven several times down the stretch, but the Heat refused to bend.

Even when Millsap forced Mario Chalmers into a traveling call with just over six minutes remaining and the Heat up by 12, Chalmers managed to steal the ball right back, coast in for the layup and draw a foul in the process.

Millsap, who led the Jazz with 20 points and 13 rebounds, finished with his sixth consecutive double-double in Boozer's stead.

"Paul Millsap went after everything and played as hard as he could play," Sloan said. "When we're shorthanded, we need that."

Both teams got into the penalty with just over five minutes left in the game and Chalmers went 5-of-5 from the free-throw line to help hold off the home team.

Miami made good on their nickname and started the third quarter with a 9-0 run that grew to 16-2 by the period's mid-point. Shawn Marion scored seven of his 15 in the first 12 minutes of the second half and Wade poured in another nine as Miami took control.

"We were able to get some easy ones going on the other end," Spoelstra said. "Actually, at the end of the quarter we started containing the ball a little better."

The Heat's stifling defense forced the Jazz into bad shots and turnovers all night long. Never was that more apparent than during their third-quarter push. The Heat blocked five shots in the first 4:12 of the third and finished with 11 blocks and 11 steals on the night.

"We just came out looking more aggressive," Marion said. "We started attacking more and we were able to execute and stop them."

The Jazz lost for the second time when holding a team under 100 points. Their 17 turnovers and 40 percent shooting effort (29-of-73) were big factors. The Heat, who shot just 44 percent from the field themselves, had 14 offensive boards and out-scored the Jazz on the fast break, 21-8.

The Jazz took an early 24-19 lead after the first quarter, but the Heat came storming back despite Wade being relocated to bench with two early fouls. Wade left the game with 5:37 left in the first quarter and did not return until the 7:04 mark of the second. During his absence, the Heat outscored the Jazz, 24-15, and eventually went on to take a 47-45 lead at the half.

"My teammates did a good job at keeping us in the ballgame when I got my two fouls and went to the bench and the next thing you know we are down three points going into the second quarter," Wade said. "That was good because it gave me the opportunity to get my legs under me and be able to do something in the second quarter."

Williams, still recovering from a sprained left ankle and also battling a right hip flexor, was visibly slowed by the ailments and finished with just 13 points and five assists.

"Our point guards did a good job at staying in front of him," Wade said. "He's a good guard, one of the best there is, and he's working his way back, so we wanted to make sure we were throwing different guys and making him tired."

The Heat now have won nine of their last 10 meetings with the Jazz.