NBA

Tue, Feb 17, 2009 - 9:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Kirilenko returns, helps Jazz beat Grizz

Share This Story

   
 

SALT LAKE CITY (AP)

Andrei Kirilenko was so exhausted he didn't know if he had the energy to celebrate his 28th birthday. "I am so tired," Kirilenko said after a deep sigh. "But today is a triple joy. I came back from my injury, we win and I have a birthday." Kirilenko returned from an ankle injury to spark a key fourth-quarter run and help the Utah Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-99 Tuesday night. C.J. Miles scored 24 points and Deron Williams had 20 points and 15 assists. "No pain in my ankle at all but I had pain trying to breathe," Kirilenko said. "I felt I couldn't catch my breath. I was expecting a little less time but I felt pretty good in my play." The Russian forward had surgery Jan. 30 to remove bone fragments from his injured right ankle and returned a couple weeks ahead of schedule to spark the Jazz, who won the fifth game in their last six and are eighth in the Western Conference. "He made a big steal and then on the other end he had a big basket and then blocked a couple shots. That's something we missed when he's not around," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. Clinging to a four-point lead in the fourth quarter, Kirilenko had three baskets, two steals and a block in a game-breaking 20-4 run that put Utah up 110-90 with 3:43 left to play. "I almost fell down on that last steal and I thought if I fall down now, I might not be able to get up. I was so tired but it was pretty important to have that stretch in the fourth quarter where we kept getting our hands on the ball," Kirilenko said. Despite his third straight double-double, Williams' five-game streak of brilliant shooting came to an end. Williams was the first guard since Michael Jordan in November 1996 to score more than 30 points on better than 50 percent shooting for five consecutive games. He shot 7-of-18 against Memphis. "It was fun," Michael Conley said of his matchup with Williams. "Deron is one of the best point guards in the league and a guy I look up to and try to learn as much as I can from him." The Jazz played without starting center Mehmet Okur, who felt sick at the shootaround and did not return to the arena for the game. Miles tried to pick up the slack. "Hitting those shots and creating some offense is what I have been trying to do. I want to be the spark that gets us going especially when we were missing Memo's shooting from the perimeter," Miles said, after falling just one point short of his season high. The Grizzlies hung with Utah until fading in the fourth and actually led 43-36 after Gay's dunk midway through the second quarter. The Jazz had five turnovers and five fouls at that point in the quarter to go along with 1-of-10 shooting and three points. "We were so sloppy and they outhustled us all over the court in the second quarter," Miles said about the Grizzlies' 18-3 run. But Williams rallied the Jazz to a 56-all tie at halftime and the Jazz never trailed again. Ronnie Brewer scored 17 of his 19 points in the first two quarters to help the Jazz keep pace. The Grizzlies outrebounded the Jazz, 41-37, and had more points in the paint but could not overcome their 19 turnovers which led to 26 Jazz points. Many of the miscues come with Kirilenko's defense and long arms interrupting the Memphis offense. "When you play a quality team you can't keep giving the ball to them," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "You have to make them earn everything."

Notes

The Boston Celtics, who play the Jazz on Thursday, are already in town and practiced Tuesday. Glen Davis watched the game a few rows behind the Jazz bench. ... Jarron Collins got his second start of the season and scored all of his season-high eight points in the third quarter. ... The Jazz made 32 of 33 free throws. ... Carlos Boozer, who has only played in 12 games this season, originally targeted the Memphis game for his return from left knee surgery but has now backed away from a firm date.
Tagged: Grizzlies, Jazz

Related Stories


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..