Jazz outlast Lakers
Win puts Utah back in series
Deron Williams hit a fadeaway jumper with 2.2 seconds left to give the Utah Jazz an 88-86 win over the Los Angeles Lakers last night in Salt Lake City.
Carlos Boozer tied a franchise playoff record with 22 rebounds and scored 23 points as the Jazz pulled within 2-1 in the series. Game 4 is tomorrow in Utah.
Williams finished with 13 points and nine assists. The winning basket was only his third field goal of the night.
The Lakers had a chance to win, but Kobe Bryant's 3-pointer at the buzzer was way off and the Jazz celebrated their first win of the postseason.
Lamar Odom led the Lakers with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Bryant scored 18 despite going just 5 for 24 from the floor.
The Jazz avoided falling behind, 3-0, in the series by winning a wild one. Both teams were sporadic, excelling one quarter and stalling the next. Utah regrouped after scoring just 17 in both the second and third quarters with an inspired fourth, outscoring the Lakers, 28-18, and retaking the lead every time Los Angeles tied it down the stretch.
The Jazz took a 2-point lead four times in the final two minutes and the Lakers finally ran out of time.
Odom tied it at 82 on a layup with 1:07 left, then Boozer put Utah back up with a layup 20 seconds later. Bryant tied it again with 28 seconds to go, then Boozer spun around Pau Gasol for a dunk to give Utah the lead again with 16.9 seconds to go.
Gasol matched Boozer's dunk with his own to tie it again at 86 with 11.7 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Williams came through after struggling with his shot most of the night.
Mavericks 88, Spurs 67 - Instead of hurting San Antonio with hard fouls - as center Erick Dampier threatened to do - Dallas slapped the Spurs around with tight defense, the return of Dirk Nowitzki's shooting touch, and the energy of its home crowd to take a 2-1 series lead.
Dampier drew the scrutiny of the NBA office for saying he would pop Spurs guard Tony Parker on his first drive of this game. Dampier never even collided with Parker, although he did swat away a shot during a frenzied first-half defensive performance by the Mavericks.
The Mavericks limited San Antonio to 30 points by the break, then went ahead, 62-36, with 7:42 left in the third. That's when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich essentially gave up, opting to rest his starters for Game 4 tomorrow.
The Spurs' backups weren't much better, resulting in San Antonio's fewest points ever in a playoff game. The numbers were so ugly - things like making only 31.2 percent of their shots, and missing 15 of 17 3-pointers - that Popovich playfully shoved aside the box score at the start of his postgame news conference.
"Have some mercy, will you?" Popovich said, laughing. "It's bad enough I had to watch this. Now you're going to make me look at the stat sheet?"
The Mavericks allowed their fewest points in a playoff game.
Nowitzki missed his first shot, then hit his next five. He finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, then also took a seat for good once Dallas's lead reached 30.
Former Northeastern star Jose Juan Barea had 13 points and seven assists in his first career playoff start, and Jason Kidd had six assists and eight rebounds. Kidd's only points came on a 3-pointer that was immediately followed by Popovich's surrender.
"This is how we have to play as far as tempo goes," Dallas guard Jason Terry said. "Defensively, we were there with great energy."