NBA

Williams hits late winner as Jazz cut Lakers' lead to 2-1

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The Sports Network
4/24/2009 3:04:56 AM
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Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Deron Williams hit the winning fadeaway jumper with 2.2 seconds remaining, and the Utah Jazz got a powerful performance from Carlos Boozer in an 88-86 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Boozer had 23 points and equaled a franchise playoff-record with 22 rebounds, helping the Jazz erase a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to pull within 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Williams finished with 13 points and nine assists, while Paul Millsap pulled down 14 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant had one of his worst shooting nights ever in the playoffs, going 5-of-24 and finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Lakers. Lamar Odom scored 21 and pulled down 14 rebounds, while Pau Gasol ended with 20 points and nine boards, but Los Angeles shot only 36.8 percent from the field.

"The reason why we won the game is because they shot 36 percent from the floor," said Boozer. "They had a good lead on us, 13 points. We fought back and took advantage of opportunities. The reason why we won is because of our defense."

Boozer used a strong move to get by Gasol in the low post and jammed for an 86-84 Utah lead with 16.9 seconds left. Boozer pumped his fist, but the celebration didn't last, as Bryant drove to the hoop before dishing to Gasol for the tying jam with 11.7 seconds to go.

Williams then held the ball before dribbling to the right side of the lane and shooting over Odom to give the Jazz the lead.

"I was playing pretty poor so I was trying to make up for it on that last shot," said Williams, who went 3-of-7 from the floor. "I'm glad it went in."

After a timeout, Bryant took the ensuing inbounds pass and fired a 35-foot three-point try, but the ball clanked off the backboard and rim, giving the Jazz hope in the series.

Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

"I think we'll play better," said Bryant. "We did okay tonight. We played pretty well in terms of being able to stay in the game and give ourselves and opportunity. It just didn't work out for us."

Trevor Ariza banged in a three-pointer for a 64-51 Lakers lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, but Kyle Korver hit a three-pointer in the final minute of the period, closing the gap to 68-60 moving to the final stanza.

Matt Harpring proved instrumental in the comeback, scoring most of his 10 points during a surge that ultimately gave the hosts the lead. He jammed for a 73-72 Utah edge, and the Jazz extended the run to 19-4, finishing it on Millsap's free throw for a 76-72 difference.

The game stayed tight from there until the finish.

The Lakers shot 24 percent (6-of-25) in the first quarter, a period dominated by Boozer, who had 11 rebounds, a Jazz playoff record. Utah led 26-17 after 12 minutes. The Jazz scored 12 in a row at one point.

Bryant went 1-of-10 from the field in the first half, but the Lakers still only trailed, 43-39, at the break. Boozer had 16 rebounds by the break, a Jazz postseason record for most boards in a half.

"Everyone goes through a game once in a while like this," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of Bryant. "A lot of things didn't click for him out there tonight and that hurt, but he made some big plays down the stretch...helped us out...gave us a chance to win."

Game Notes

The Jazz have won their last five home playoff games...The Lakers are 1-9 with Bryant on the road against the Jazz in the playoffs... The Jazz were again without the services of their second leading scorer, center Mehmet Okur, who sat out with a strained right hamstring...Korver scored 11, while Ronnie Brewer had 12 for Utah...Lakers center Andrew Bynum played just seven points and was hampered by foul trouble...Boozer tied Karl Malone's team record for rebounds in a playoff contest...The Jazz improved to 10-2 all-time at home during the playoffs against the Lakers...The last time Kobe Bryant shot less than 10% from the field in a playoff half (min 10 FGA) was June 16, 2000 at Indiana, when he went 1-of-11 in the second half.

Carlos Boozer (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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