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News » Jazz 110, Thunder 90

Jazz 110, Thunder 90

Jazz 110, Thunder 90
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Deron Williams came up with an All-Star caliber performance to help Utah snap a four-game losing streak. With rosters already set for Phoenix, it'll have to do.

Williams had 24 points and 12 assists and the Utah Jazz snapped a four-game losing streak with a 110-90 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

"I think he should have been an All-Star," said the Thunder's Kevin Durant, who also missed the cut. "He's a motivator for this team and they have a great team. He's playing great this year and he played really well tonight.

"He is a tough guy to guard."

Williams was on the 2005-06 All-Rookie First Team and was selected to the All-NBA Second Team after last season but he has never played in an All-Star game. When the selections were announced this week, Williams? name was left off again.

"It?s tough but I wasn?t really worried about it. I could use the rest and get off my feet and relax," Williams said.

Mehmet Okur scored 20 points and Paul Millsap added 16 points, nine rebounds and tied a career high with seven assists for the Jazz, who capitalized on the Thunder's 24 turnovers.

Kevin Durant had 29 points and 10 rebounds and Russell Westbrook had 20 points but the Thunder couldn't rally after falling behind in the second quarter.

"We didn't do a good job matching their physical play. We needed to play hard," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "We turned it over too many times and it was because they were physical with us."

Last time the teams met, the Thunder beat the Jazz 114-93, for the first of five wins in seven games for Oklahoma City - its best span of the season.

"We owed them one," Williams said.

On Friday night, the Jazz stretched their lead to 24 after Mehmet Okur's 3-pointer in the middle of the third quarter but the Thunder whittled the lead back to 13 behind Durant's shooting.

Williams doused any comeback hopes with a scintillating stretch in the fourth quarter. First, he beat the shot clock with a 26-footer and then got a steal on the other end. After a free throw, he gathered another deflection and tossed a perfect alley-oop to Ronnie Brewer for a dunk. The Jazz then led 109-88 and Williams and the starters took a seat on the bench.

"We're a good team when we pass the ball, share it and make extra passes. That?s what happened tonight. There were a lot of guys passing on good shots to get better ones," said Williams, who made 9-of-13 shots, including three 3-pointers, and had four of Utah?s 12 steals.

Brewer and CJ Miles each had 15 points as the jazz avoided their first three-game losing skid at home in two years.

The Thunder outrebounded the Jazz 43-34 and shot better than their season average at 48 percent but they could not overcome their poor defense and sloppy ball handling.

Okur and Matt Harpring both had two baskets in an 11-0 run for the Jazz midway through the second quarter. Harpring's layup 7:01 before halftime gave Utah a 43-30 lead. At halftime the Jazz still lead by the same margin at 64-51.

Notes: The Jazz had 32 assists to the Thunder's 14. ... Players from both teams had surgery Friday. Andrei Kirilenko had bone fragments removed from his right ankle and Desmond Mason underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. ... The Thunder made just 2-of-11 3-point attempts. ... Oklahoma Citys 25 turnovers was just one off its season high of 26 against New Orleans on Nov. 21.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 31, 2009


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