Jazz 93, Trail Blazers 89, OT

Carlos Boozer wasn’t trying to disparage the rest of the NBA.

Utah’s star was simply impressed by the resiliency of his own

team.

“We fought back. A lot of teams in this league probably

wouldn’t have done that being down 25,” Boozer said.

Down 25 midway through the third quarter, the Jazz crawled back

to force overtime on Boozer’s putback at the buzzer, then pulled

away to stun Portland 93-89 on Sunday night.

Trailing 64-39 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter, Utah

staged a shocking rally by outscoring the Blazers 44-19 over the

final 19 minutes to send what seemed like a sure Portland win into

overtime. Boozer then scored underneath with 3:05 left in OT to

give Utah a 87-86 edge and its first lead since it was 9-8.

It was all part of Boozer’s stellar night. He finished with 22

points and a career-best 23 rebounds – eight on the offensive end –

as Utah won its seventh straight on the road.

“To be down the way we were and be able to fight back and hang

in there that speaks a lot about our maturity and our ability to

fight,” Utah guard Deron Williams said.

None of Boozer’s efforts were bigger than at the end of

regulation. Utah had turned a laugher into a one possession game

with 5 seconds left thanks to a combo of strong defense and horrid

Portland shooting. The Blazers made just 4 of 27 attempts in the

fourth quarter and overtime.

Inbouding at midcourt, Williams got an open look from 19 feet.

The shot rimmed off, but Boozer gained position on Marcus Camby.

Boozer’s looping right-handed follow over Camby beat the buzzer to

tie the game at 83-all.

After giving Utah it’s first lead in nearly three hours, Boozer

slipped an interior pass to Kyrylo Fesenko for a dunk and a

three-point lead. Williams added an arching jumper over the long

arms of Camby and Utah was able to hold on when Brandon Roy’s

3-point attempt in the final 10 seconds rimmed off. C.J. Miles

grabbed the rebound and hit one free throw to secure the win.

“I always think you have a chance to win. That’s what is fun

about this game,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. “You put a lot

into it and you get a lot out of it.”

Williams finished with 18 points and 12 assists as Utah swept

the four-game season series with Portland. But this victory could

be the most impressive considering what the Jazz were missing.

Mehmet Okur missed his second straight game after the birth of his

child and Andrei Kirilenko left in the first half with back

spasms.

And it makes this loss tougher for Portland to accept. After

getting routed by Boston on Friday, the Blazers rebounded by

dominating for 2 1/2 quarters, then made numerous mistakes to let

the Jazz rally.

Along with the horrid shooting late, the Blazers missed four

free throws in the fourth quarter, all by Roy. The Blazers All-Star

finished with 23 points in his third game back after missing 12

games with a hamstring injury.

“I’ve always felt that if you play with this game, this game

will come back and get you,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said.

“What I mean by that is if you lose your focus and don’t play the

game the right way, it will come back on you.”

Portland seemed to have victory secured with a 14-1 spurt to

start the second half and took its biggest lead at 25 on a LaMarcus

Aldridge dunk. Utah again went more than five minutes without a

basket after watching Portland run off a 17-1 spurt in the first

half.

Eventually, the Jazz started chipping away and pulled within 10

after scoring the first four points of the fourth quarter.

The lead continued to diminish as Utah’s bench started to

produce and Portland went cold. By the time Andre Miller scored on

a scoop shot in the lane with 4:54 left, the Blazers lead was down

to six.

Utah closed to 82-79 on Kyle Korver’s second 3-pointer of the

fourth quarter. Williams made two free throws with 30 seconds left

to get within 83-81 and Utah had its chance when Nicolas Batum’s

open 3-pointer attempt rimmed out with 7 seconds left. Williams

missed, but Boozer was there to clean up.

“He’s so strong. … You can’t take away from his physical gift

he has out there, his knack for getting the basketball,” Camby

said of Boozer.

Miller added 17 points and Batum had 14 points for Portland, all

coming in the first half.

NOTES: Boozer’s previous career high in rebounds was 21, set

three times, most recently against the Blazers in 2007. Camby has

25 rebounds in his two games with Portland. … Okur could be back

for Monday’s game at home against Atlanta.