Heat Storm Back to Beat Jazz 88-86

Heat Storm Back to Beat Jazz 88-86

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MIAMI (AP) -- Antoine Walker scored all of his 13 points in the final 11 minutes, and the streaking Miami Heat erased a 17-point second-half deficit to beat the Utah Jazz 88-86 on Tuesday night.

The Heat were down 14 entering the fourth quarter, before outscoring Utah 28-12 in the period to win their seventh straight game overall, 13th in a row at home and move within a half-game of idle Washington for the Southeast Division lead.

Walker, who was 0-for-6 from the field in the first three periods, shot 6-for-11 in the fourth -- and played tight defense on Mehmet Okur's 3-point try that fell short with 31 seconds left.

Walker missed a 3-pointer on Miami's ensuing possession, and Utah got the ball with 3.6 seconds left. But the Jazz threw the ball away, Udonis Haslem made one free throw 0.9 seconds later, and the defending NBA champions held on when Carlos Boozer missed from the left baseline at the buzzer.

Jason Williams scored 15 points, Shaquille O'Neal added 13, Eddie Jones had 12 and Haslem had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat.

Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Okur finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz -- whose six-game winning streak was snapped. Deron Williams had 15 points, Matt Harpring 12 and Gordan Giricek 10 for Utah.

The Heat matched their largest comeback of the season. Utah has lost its last seven meetings against Miami, a streak that started Jan. 15, 2004.

The Heat missed 12 shots around the basket in the first half, and that array of botched layups and put-backs contributed heavily to Miami shooting 36 percent in the opening two quarters -- after which Utah led 48-35.

Utah used a 19-4 run over 5 1/2 minutes of the first quarter to turn a tie game into a 30-15 lead, and the closest Miami got over the remainder of the half was 35-27 when Dorell Wright hit from the middle of the lane with 5:50 left before intermission.

Andrei Kirilenko's first basket of the game put the Jazz up 59-42 with 7:52 left in the third, before the Heat made a bit of a run. Jason Williams hit a 3-pointer and added a pair of free throws, O'Neal had a dunk and Haslem scored from close range to draw Miami within 65-58 with 2:43 in the period.

Utah closed the quarter on a 9-2 run to seize control and take a 74-60 lead into the fourth.

But the Jazz missed 11 of their 14 shots in the final quarter, and the Heat -- who shot 12-for-20 in the fourth -- found a way to rally.

Notes:@ Utah dropped to 18-8 against the East. ... The Heat will play their first road game of the month in New Jersey on Thursday, then return home for games with Sacramento on Friday and Orlando on Sunday. ... Utah took 19 of the game's first 24 free throws, outscoring Miami 14-2 from the line in the first 25 minutes. ... Heat coach Pat Riley said he still believes former Miami guard Tim Hardaway's number will be retired by the team someday. Hardaway was widely criticized after making anti-gay remarks last month. "I do think that we are a country and a city that forgives," Riley said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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