Jazz Edge Cavs In Closing Seconds

Thursday, November 8th 2007, 7:40 am
By: News On 6

A thrilling finish in Utah. An overpowering start in Boston.

The Jazz and Celtics proved there's two ways to win Wednesday night. Utah took care of LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the last seconds, while Boston blew out Denver in the opening half.

Deron Williams drove the length of the floor for a layup with 1.3 seconds remaining to give the Jazz a 103-101 victory over Cleveland, overcoming James' triple-double and tying 3-pointer just seconds before.

``I tried to call timeout,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. ``Fortunately we got it inbounds and he knew what to do with it.''

James forced the frantic finish with his 3 with 6 seconds left. He finished with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists in his 11th career triple-double. But he and the rest of the Cavs were caught by surprise by Williams' mad dash at the end.

``Great move. We expected him to call a timeout. But I should have known,'' James said. ``Great play. Nothing we could do.''

No need for any drama in Boston, not after the Celtics shot 72 percent in the first half while building a 39-point lead in a 119-93 victory over the Nuggets.

The Celtics barely broke a sweat in building a 77-38 halftime bulge. Boston had multiple uncontested layups, dunks and an array of dazzling passes, outrebounded Denver 25-9 and dominated essentially every statistic on the box score.

``It's a game we never had a shot in,'' Denver's Allen Iverson said. ``They jumped right on us and we were never able to take care of business.''

In other games, it was: Atlanta 105, Phoenix 96; Orlando 105, Toronto 96; the Los Angeles Clippers 104, Indiana 89; Philadelphia 94, Charlotte 63; San Antonio 88, Miami 78; Memphis 105, Seattle 98; and Portland 93, New Orleans 90.

Paul Pierce scored 26 points, Kevin Garnett added 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Boston improved to 3-0 overall. Ray Allen scored 22 points and is shooting 63 percent since joining the Celtics, who have won their two home games by an average of 24 points.

``We are just scratching the surface on what we can do,'' Pierce said. ``We enjoy seeing the next player make a great play and no one cares who gets credit.''

Iverson led the Nuggets with 22 points, but Carmelo Anthony was held to only 11 on 3-of-13 shooting. Denver dropped an emotional game on Tuesday in New York, 119-112, after blowing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and has lost three straight overall.

Boston led by as much as 41.

``I don't remember getting down by that much even on the bad teams in Toronto,'' Nuggets center Marcus Camby said.

Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Paul Millsap scored a career-high 24 points in Salt Lake City for the Jazz. Williams finished with 15 points and 12 assists, focusing more on setting up his teammates before calling his own number for the winner.

``We just get it and go. We find that works for us,'' Williams said. ``I think they felt we were going to call a timeout. They're looking back to see what we're doing and while they're doing that we're racing up the court.''

Spurs 88, Heat 78

Manu Ginobili scored 25 points, Tony Parker added 23, and host San Antonio bounced back from its first loss of the season.

The Heat, still without a recovering Dwyane Wade, are now 0-4. Shaquille O'Neal led Miami with 17 points.

Hawks 105, Suns 96

Josh Smith scored 22 points, rookie Al Horford led a dominant performance on the boards and host Atlanta beat another 60-win team from last season.

The Hawks, who haven't made the playoffs since 1999, got back to .500 in a brutal opening stretch of games and added to their opening-night win over Dallas.

Steve Nash scored 34 points but Shawn Marion, with 20, was the only other significant offensive contributor. The Suns played their third straight game without Amare Stoudemire, who sat out because of a sore knee.

Trail Blazers 93, Hornets 90

Martell Webster and Jarrett Jack each scored 20 points, and host Portland earned its first victory of the season by beating previously undefeated New Orleans.

David West had 34 points and 18 rebounds for the Hornets (4-1), who had matched last season's start for the best in franchise history.

Clippers 104, Pacers 89

Sam Cassell scored 35 points to lead visiting Los Angeles in a matchup of unbeaten teams. Cassell tied his highest point total since joining the Clippers (4-0) in 2005. Chris Kaman added 15 points and 22 rebounds.

Danny Granger led Indiana with 16 points.

Grizzlies 105, SuperSonics 98

Rudy Gay scored 25 points and Kyle Lowry hit a clinching 3-pointer as visiting Memphis sent winless Seattle to its worst start in 38 years.

Kevin Durant, playing for the third time in four nights in a welcome-to-NBA life stretch, scored a season-low 17 points and was a woeful 3-for-17 from the field for the Sonics (0-5).

Magic 105, Raptors 96

Hedo Turkoglu had 24 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, Rashard Lewis scored 24 points for visiting Orlando.

One night after he failed to make a field goal for just the second time in his NBA career, Toronto's Chris Bosh scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

76ers 94, Bobcats 63

At Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala scored 19 points, Willie Green had 14 and the 76ers jumped on Charlotte early and never let up, sending the Bobcats back to .500 after a 2-0 start.

The Bobcats played without point guard Raymond Felton after he hurt his left knee a night earlier against Phoenix. Matt Carroll scored 16 points, Emeka Okafor had 11 points and 11 rebounds, but the Bobcats had 29 turnovers.