Williams' late jumper helps Jazz top Spurs 104-101

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SALT LAKE CITY -- After missing his first six shots, Deron Williams had more than half the game to regain his confidence.

It didn't take that long.

Williams recovered from his early shooting slump with 15 of his 17 points in the second half, including a go-ahead jumper with 22 seconds left, and the Utah Jazz held on for a 104-101 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

Williams made eight of his last 10 shots and also had 11 assists while leading the Jazz to their third straight win over the Spurs.

For the first time since 1997-98, Utah will claim the season series against San Antonio.

"It feels good. This is a team that's pretty much dominated us since I've been here and probably a little bit before that," Williams said.


It was a great way for the Jazz to start one of the most difficult weeks of the season. The Jazz visit the Lakers on Wednesday, are back at home against Orlando on Thursday, and then host the Lakers on Saturday.

Carlos Boozer had 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Ronnie Brewer had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which outscored the Spurs 37-19 in the third quarter and held on down the stretch.

Both teams blew big leads and had chances to win it at the end before Utah finally clinched it on Mehmet Okur's two foul shots with 1.5 seconds to go.

"I'm really excited for our players. I don't get that excited very often," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "I was excited for them tonight because I think they really needed that to try to move forward with the way we've been trying to play."

Matt Bonner scored a career-high 28 for the Spurs, but he missed on a drive to the basket with 1.9 seconds left and San Antonio down by a point.

Tim Duncan had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Tony Parker scored 22 for the Spurs, who have lost three in a row.

San Antonio had led by 15 in the first half, fell behind by 12 in the third quarter and then rallied again for a chance to win it.

"I thought for most of the game we played pretty well, but in the third quarter we didn't come out with the same energy and they jumped on us," said Parker. "In the fourth quarter, it was a battle."

Duncan scored four straight points in the final minute to put the Spurs ahead 101-99 with 28 seconds to go.

But Williams led the Jazz right down the floor after Duncan made two free throws, and instead of trying to run off time he pulled up for a jumper at the top of the key to give the Jazz the lead.

Williams opened the game with six straight misses, then scored on a dunk late in the second quarter and went 5 for 5 in the third.

"I missed a couple of shots early so in the second half I just came out and played," he said.

The Spurs missed a chance to retake the lead when Parker was off on a 3-point attempt, but the Jazz blew a chance to put it away when Boozer missed a pair of foul shots. Boozer had made his first seven attempts from the line before the two misses with 10.6 seconds to go.

Bonner, who had never scored more than 25, drove for an awkward runner that missed, and Okur pulled in the rebound.

"When it left my hand it felt good," said Bonner, who finished 10 for 14 from the field and made four 3-pointers. "It looked like it was down and then popped out."

Okur finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz.

Utah, which was coming off a loss to the lowly Timberwolves on Saturday, took off in the third quarter after another sloppy first half.

Coach Jerry Sloan woke up his team when he got a technical with 9:03 left, when the ball bounced out of bounds at the Jazz bench and the Spurs kept possession.

Sloan bellowed enough to earn himself a whistle, and Parker made the free throw to put the Spurs up 62-54. But the Jazz responded with a 25-6 run.

"I thought we got up and challenged them just a little bit more," Sloan said.

Notes: San Antonio G Michael Finley (sprained ankle) did not make the trip and missed his first game of the season. ... Utah hasn't won the series against San Antonio since 1997-98, which was also the last season the Jazz beat the Spurs in three straight games. ... The Jazz will try for a sweep when they visit San Antonio next month. ... Utah had 29 assists to San Antonio's 19.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Doug Alden sports writer


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