Okur leads Jazz over Seattle
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Mehmet Okur scored 24 points and grabbed nine
rebounds as Utah stopped Seattle’s three-game win streak with a 93-87 victory
Gordan Giricek added 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the Jazz, who nearly
squandered a 16-point fourth quarter lead before sealing the win with solid
free throw shooting down the stretch.
Devin Brown and Milt Palacio led a strong Utah bench contingent with 14 and 12
points, respectively, as the Jazz posted their second straight impressive
victory after losing five straight. Utah came in off Monday’s 100-80 decision
“We have played the last few games with some joy and passion,” said Giricek.
Rashard Lewis netted 26 points and Ray Allen had 23 for the Sonics, but
Seattle shot just 38 percent from the field.
Utah had a 13-point lead at intermission and maintained a double-digit cushion
through most of the second half. The Jazz were up 82-66 with seven minutes to
go, but the Sonics would quickly get back in it.
Seattle then embarked on a 13-2 run, highlighted by a pair of Lewis three-
pointers, the last of which brought the Sonics within 84-79 with 3:50 left to
Reggie Evans had a chance to make it a three-point game when he stepped to the
line with 1:40 to go. He missed both foul shots, but got the rebound on the
second and converted the bucket to cut the deficit to 86-83.
Okur buried a three-pointer on the other end, but a driving layup by Lewis and
two Allen free throws with 45 seconds on the clock got the hosts within 89-87.
Brown missed a three with 20 seconds to go, but Seattle’s Nick Collison was
whistled for a loose ball foul, sending Jarron Collins to the line. He would
sink both attempts for a four-point lead.
After Allen misfired from long distance, Brown preserved the victory by making
a pair from the line in the final seconds.
Utah finished the game 24-of-30 from the charity stripe.
“Small things are important,” added Giricek. “If you rebound, take care of the
ball and win loose balls, you have a good chance to win.”
Up 19-14 at the end of an uneventful first quarter, the Jazz extended their
lead with a strong second period. Collins netted six points in under a one-
minute span to put Utah ahead 35-25 just past the halfway point of the frame,
and an Okur layup staked the visitors to a 39-28 advantage with 3:12 left in
Seattle would counter with a 6-0 run, capped by Allen’s three-point play 2:32
before halftime, but the Jazz responded with nine consecutive points. An Okur
basket from beyond the arc put Utah up 48-34 in the half’s final minute, and
the Jazz cruised into the break with a 51-38 lead.
The Jazz have held opponents under 90 points six times this season and are 5-1
in those games…Allen made just two of his 10 three-point tries…Utah rookie
Deron Williams, coming off two straight double-double performances, went 0-
of-8 from the field and had only four points…The Jazz stopped a three-game
losing streak in KeyArena, while the visitor won for just the third time in
the last 16 meetings in the series.