Okur, Jazz Stay Hot With Win Over Sixers
Utah 110, Philadelphia 102
PHILADELPHIA, Jan, 11 (Ticker) -- Not even another 40-point game from Allen Iverson could slow down the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz won for the eighth time in nine games as they rode Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko to a 110-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, who wasted 46 points from Iverson.
"We're playing well as a team," Okur said. "It was a great road trip."
Kirilenko scored 23 points, including a driving layup to trigger an 8-0 burst that gave the Jazz an 87-78 lead with 8:53 remaining. It was at least a two-possession game thereafter as Utah had no trouble scoring against Philadelphia's porous defense and made big plays when it needed them.
"That the way they run their offense, they do a lot of cutting, back screens, and stuff like that," Iverson said. "When you're not ready to handle it, you're going to get beat for easy layups. That's what they do. They're a well-coached team, and it showed. They executed their plays to the fullest and they got the best shot possible downcourt."
Iverson, who registered his ninth 40-point game this season, found Andre Iguodala for an alley-oop slam and converted a three-point play to cut the deficit to 91-86 with 6:36 to go. Okur made a jumper and Kirilenko added a tough leaner in the lane.
A 3-pointer by Kyle Korver pulled the Sixers within 102-98 with 1:27 remaining. Iverson made a steal and fed Iguodala, whose driving layup was blocked by Kirilenko.
"Andre made the big block," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "He looked like he was going to foul the guy but he kept stretching out his arms. He blocked the shot and came away with the ball."
"My game is a more all-around game," Kirilenko said. "I want to do something good, especially in crunch time."
Milt Palacio sank two free throws in the final minute to seal the win. Palacio scored 11 of his 17 points in the final period, when he was matched up with Iverson.
"They're not the best defensive team out there and we know it," Palacio said. "We wanted to execute everything. Everybody knows that they will get their shots and coach runs everything to your strength."
"There are a lot of things we're doing wrong or we wouldn't be under .500," Iverson said. "It's not like we're doing one or two things wrong."
Gordan Giricek scored 16 points and former Sixer Matt Harpring added 14 for Utah (19-17), which maintained its hold on first place in the Northwest Division.
"We're still the same team inside," Kirilenko said. "Our chemistry in unbelievable and we're have a great time together. Our success comes helping each other and staying together."
Chris Webber scored 21 points and Samuel Dalembert added 11 and 11 boards for Philadelphia, which has lost eight of the last 10 meetings between the clubs.
It was the 68th career 40-point game for Iverson, who made 16-of-25 shots and 13-of-17 free throws, adding nine assists and four steals.
"I don't really care if I play well or play bad, it's frustrating to lose the game," Iverson said. "It doesn't do any good if we play well and lose basketball games. You still got a loss. It's like you didn't even go out there and do anything."
A 3-pointer by Iguodala gave Philadelphia a 65-56 lead midway through the third period before Utah put together a 15-5 run to reclaim the advantage. The Jazz held a 75-74 lead entering the fourth quarter.