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News » Deja vu for Jazz as AK goes off

Deja vu for Jazz as AK goes off

Deja vu for Jazz as AK goes off Andrei Kirilenko changed out of his uniform, showered and walked onto the floor of EnergySolutions Arena for a postgame television interview so fast that Deron Williams ? watching inside the lockerroom ? thought he was seeing a replay from a game gone by. Either that, or some sort of TV trick.

But it was the real deal. So, too, was Kirilenko's play in a 100-97 overtime victory over Detroit on Saturday night that marked the Jazz's third straight victory and fourth in its last five games. The 2004 NBA All-Star from Russia had a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double off the bench, including six of the Jazz's 10 points in the five-minute extra session. That along with a 14-point, 11-assist double-double by Williams, 22 points and 10-of-10 shooting at the free-throw line from Carlos Boozer and 15 points by Ronnie Brewer was enough for the 7-6 Jazz to not let last Thursday's monumental win at San Antonio ? its first there in 23 games and more than 10 years ? go to waste. "It's a big win for us, to come back home after a big win like that," said Boozer, who had the Jazz's other four points in OT. "But every game right now is a big win for us. "We're trying to keep moving the train in the right direction as long as we go along, and continue to trust each other on both sides," he added. "That's what we're doing. We're having fun." They certainly have been the last few nights, starting with last Wednesday's home win over Toronto and including Saturday's squeaker against a 5-8 Pistons team that has now lost nine straight overall to the Jazz and seven in a row in Utah. "It would have been a bad loss after those two wins, especially getting one on the back-to-back in San Antonio," Williams said after the Jazz kicked off a six-game homestand ? their longest of the season ? with a victory in their third game over four nights. "It would have been tough to swallow." They couldn't pull it out at the end of regulation, but credit the Jazz ? off now until facing Oklahoma City on Tuesday night ? for not choking in overtime. Kirilenko's monster follow dunk of a Williams miss broke a 79-79 tie in the fourth quarter, and Boozer's jumper gave the Jazz an 83-82 lead. Boozer would score six of Utah's last nine points in the fourth, and Kirilenko's 3-pointer with one minute left in regulation put Utah up 90-88. But Detroit's Ben Gordon hit two free throws with 22.1 seconds left to tie it at 90, and Paul Millsap's errant 18-foot jumper with a second left forced the extra period. "I thought Paul had that shot," Boozer said. He didn't, but Kirilenko had his on a jumper with 2:24 to go in OT to break a 94-94 tie. The Jazz led the rest of the way, and Kirilenko's two free throws with 9.8 seconds remaining ? they followed a Will Bynum turnover as he tried to drive on Williams, only have the ball slip out of his hands ? gave Utah a three-point cushion at 100-97. Detroit ? shorthanded with injured veterans Rip Hamilton (sprained ankle) and Tayshaun Price (ruptured disc) still out ? had one last chance to force a second overtime, but Ben Gordon's final-second trey try over Brewer missed the mark. "We made the right plays at the right time in the fourth quarter and overtime," Boozer said, "to have a chance to win." And they did, allowing Kirilenko to celebrate with what Williams deemed to be the quickest shower in NBA history. "In and out," Kirilenko said. That he was. But it wasn't magic, and it wasn't a California burger joint either. It was simply the Kirilenko way, on a night everything seemed to be going his way. NOTES: Kirilenko's double-double was his first since Jan. 12 of this year vs. Indiana. ... Millsap exited in the second quarter, needing five stitches to close a cut in the area over his right eyebrow. He returned, though, for the second half. ... The Jazz shot a season-high 44 free throws, and made a season-high 33. ... This was the Jazz's first overtime game of the season. They were 1-2 in OT last season. ... With usual starting center Mehmet Okur out for a third straight game due to flu-like symptoms, backup Kyrylo Fesenko made his fourth start of the season. e-mail:

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Added: November 23, 2009


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