Wednesday , Mar , 14 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Miami streaks to seventh win in a row, over Jazz

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Eddie Jones’ two free throws gave Miami the lead
for good with under a minute left, and the Heat rallied from a 17-point third-
quarter deficit for their seventh straight win, 88-86 over the Utah Jazz.

Antoine Walker scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter for the Heat,
who have won 13 in a row at home and continued their incredible success in the
months of February and March. The Heat are 39-1 at home in those two months
over the last three years, including an 11-0 record this season.

Jason Williams had 15 points and Shaquille O’Neal contributed 13 points and
nine rebounds for Miami, which beat Utah for the seventh straight time.

“We’ve been through a lot and we are the most experienced team when it comes
to coming from behind,” O’Neal said. “Nothing rattles us. We always seem to
pick it up at the right time.”

Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz, who had a crucial
turnover in the final seconds and had their six-game winning streak broken.
Mehmet Okur added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Utah.

Walker’s running hook shot boosted the Heat to an 83-82 lead with 3:46
remaining, their first advantage since the opening quarter.

Boozer nailed a free throw, but James Posey’s layup, off a great pass from
O’Neal, sent the Heat to an 85-83 advantage with 2:21 left.

Okur responded with a three-pointer with 1:28 remaining, but both teams then
missed shots before Jones was fouled by Okur with 52.2 seconds left.

After the two foul shots gave the Heat the lead, Okur missed a three-pointer,
but Walker also missed a long distance attempt with the shot clock about to
expire.

Gordan Giricek got the rebound for the Jazz, who called a timeout with 3.6
seconds left. However, Jazz teammates Deron Williams and Okur collided on the
inbounds pass and the ball went out of bounds.

Udonis Haslem hit one free throw with 2.7 seconds left, giving Utah one more
chance after another timeout, but Boozer missed from the left baseline as the
clock expired.

“It was whoever we could get the ball to,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “You
got two seconds, you have to try to get it to somebody. Andrei (Kirilenko) I
thought made a pretty good pass, and it was a pretty decent shot for that kind
of situation.”

Jones had 12 points and Haslem contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.

“This was just one of those games where we really toughed it out down the
stretch,” Jones said. “We played together defensively in the fourth quarter.
We forced tough shots and we rebounded the ball well.”

Williams had 15 points and eight assists for the Jazz.

Utah scored nine in a row at one point in the first for a 27-15 lead. It was
30-18 after 12 minutes and the visitors led 48-35 at the half. A reverse layup
by Kirilenko gave Utah its largest lead at 59-42 with 7:52 left in the third.

The Jazz cushion stood at 74-60 going into the fourth, but Miami opened the
fourth on a 16-4 burst.

“They got in our face a little harder,” Sloan said. “They got after us a lot
harder defensively, and they went on a little stretch where we let them back
in the ball game.”

Game Notes

The Heat have won 15 of their last 19 games and have the best record in the
Eastern Conference (15-4) since January 30…Okur went 2-of-7 from three-point
range. He has made 109 threes this season, passing Bryon Russell’s 1996-97
record for the most in a single season in team history…This was Utah’s first
loss (14-1) on the road when leading after three quarters.

UTA MIA