Nets Put Up Fight, Fall Short to Jazz 98-88

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Jazz 98, Nets 88: New Jersey Offense Disappears In Utah

Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Deron Williams posted 23 points and eight assists, and all five Utah starters reached double figures in a 98-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

Paul Millsap posted 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz, who recovered after losing to Oklahoma City on Monday to post their sixth win in seven games. Al Jefferson added 16 points and nine boards, while Raja Bell and Andrei Kirilenko each had 15 points in the victory.

"We had to play a pretty good game to be able to beat them," Utah head coach Jerry Sloan said. "I thought they stayed in there, they're well coached, they did everything they could to get in the game. They missed some shots, and fortunately we made our free throws around the stretch."

Anthony Morrow led the Nets with 24 points and seven rebounds, and Devin Harris added 19 points and eight assists in New Jersey's 24th loss in its last 25 games against Western Conference opponents. Brook Lopez recorded 17 points and eight rebounds in defeat.

"Our team, we're not at a point right now mentally where we really believe deep down in our gut that we can win these games," said Nets head coach Avery Johnson. "When we get there, then we'll start beating an Orlando at home, we'll maybe get us a win against a really good Utah team on the road."

New Jersey held a slim 25-24 lead after the first quarter, but Utah began the second on a 6-0 burst to take the lead for good

Ronnie Price's dunk made it 30-25, and the Nets didn't score until nearly three minutes into the period.

Utah's lead stood at 42-39 following a Lopez three-point play with a bit over three minutes left in the first half, but the Jazz scored 11 of the next 15 points to grab a 10-point lead on Jefferson's three-point play in the final minute.

New Jersey climbed to within 53-47 at halftime, but Utah quickly restored its 10-point advantage, 59-49, two minutes into the third on a Williams layup. The lead reached as high as 13 before the hosts took a 77-70 edge into the fourth.

The Nets never got closer than five in the final 12 minutes. Travis Outlaw had the visitors within 91-86 with less than 4 1/2 minutes to go, but New Jersey didn't score again until the final minute, when the game's outcome was not in doubt any longer.

Utah's bench scored only 10 points, and nobody outside the starting lineup had more than two points...The Nets snapped a 23-game losing streak to the West in their last game against the Clippers...The Jazz have won the last four meetings between the teams...Both clubs combined to shoot 5-for-33 from three- point range; Utah went 1-for-12, and New Jersey went 4-for-21...The Jazz won despite being outrebounded, 57-44.

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