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News » Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-10-30

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-10-30

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-10-30
They might only have to play a handful of games without Deron Williams, but the Jazz got a taste Wednesday of just how difficult survival will be. They beat the Nuggets 98-94 in their opener in a game decided by the smallest of margins.

Carlos Boozer was nearly stripped of the ball with 26.0 seconds left, but dove after it, grabbed it and called timeout. The Jazz took advantage as Boozer hit an eight-footer over Kenyon Martin. The Jazz also watched Kyle Korver miss a rare free throw with 12.5 seconds to play.

But Denver's Chris Andersen was called for a lane violation, giving Korver a second chance to keep the Jazz ahead by three. The Jazz held on for a victory more significant in Jerry Sloan's opinion because it came over a division rival than because it came in the opener.

Ronnie Price started in place of Williams and endured a miserable 1-for-9 shooting game. He did find a measure of redemption by draining two free throws with 8.5 seconds left, the biggest free throws of his career, he said afterward.

Between them, Price and Brevin Knight combined for 10 points and six assists in Williams' absence. The Nuggets were able to erase the Jazz's 14-point lead with Knight in to start the fourth quarter.

It was easily forgotten by the end of the wild game, but the Jazz had to resort to having Andrei Kirilenko play point guard for a possession late in the first quarter with both Price and Knight having picked up two fouls.

Kirilenko was stripped of the ball by J.R. Smith, leading to a lay-up for Allen Iverson on the fast break. Price, however, came back for the start of the second quarter and was able to make it through until halftime without picking up a third foul.

"We had to have a little bit of luck," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "A couple of things bounced our way."

JAZZ 98, NUGGETS 94: The Jazz never trailed in the last six minutes but still had to hold their breath until the final horn. With the Jazz missing Deron Williams and Denver missing suspended forward Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets still had a chance to tie as Kenyon Martin's three-pointer with 2.9 seconds left clanked off the rim. The Jazz built a 14-point lead in the third quarter as Ronnie Brewer hit three jumpers and made a nice play hustling back on defense to block Linas Kleiza.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 30, 2008


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