Jazz 97, Heat 85
In the fourth, it was all Utah as Andrei Kirilenko scored 15 of his 26 points to lead the Jazz to their sixth straight win over the Heat, 97-85 in a foul-filled game Thursday night.
“We just picked it up and start playing good,” said Kirilenko, who made all six of his shots, including two 3-pointers, and his only free-throw in the final period.
Kirilenko also added 12 rebounds, five blocks and four assists to lead the Jazz, who took advantage of poor free-throw shooting by Miami in the foul frenzy, outscoring the Heat 31-24 from the line.
The teams combined for 67 fouls, but it still wasn’t close to the shot-clock era record for regulation. That was 84 between Indiana and Kansas City on Oct. 22, 1977.
“They should be out of breath as much as they used the whistle. But Miami is a real physical team and in order to keep people from fighting, they had to call it like that and they did a good job,” said Raja Bell, who had six assists for Utah. “Yeah, there was no tempo, but they did their job.”
Raul Lopez added 13 points, including a rare dunk in the closing seconds, and DeShawn Stevenson scored 12 for the Jazz, who have not lost to the Heat since November 2000. Kirilenko also had 12 rebounds and five blocks.
Miami had more fouls (35) than rebounds (33) in its fourth straight loss. Eddie Jones led the Heat with 18 points and Lamar Odom added 14 points for Miami, which couldn’t take advantage of the Jazz’s 32 fouls. The Heat were just 24-for-35 from the free-throw line.
“Sometimes it’s like that, especially with teams that cut a lot and try to create fouls. Utah does a great job at creating fouls when they cut,” Odom said. “It was just shot making. We missed a lot of shots from the outside. We missed free throws. We were in the penalty the whole game and that probably took away some of our aggressiveness.”
The Jazz were wearing the uniform design from the 1979-80 season, the team’s first in Utah after moving from New Orleans. The white shorts and jerseys featured the old purple, green and gold color scheme from 25 years ago and the musical note that used to be featured.
Music from the era was pumped throughout the arena, but the feel-good atmosphere did not extend to the court.
There were several hard collisions and a couple of takedowns in the game, which got more and more physical as it continued. Jazz guard Raul Lopez offered his hand to help Miami’s Loren Woods up after he fell over Pavlovic in the first half, but Woods shook off Lopez’s offer twice.
Jones and Bell were called for a double foul a few seconds later.
“They were calling it tight on both ends,” said Miami’s Brian Grant, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds. “They figured out a way to come off and take advantage of the tight officiating and we should have, too.”
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan got a technical in the third quarter after he started to charge the court but was restrained by assistant Phil Johnson as he charged toward the court after Stevenson was fouled hard on his way to an apparent fast break.
Sloan was angry again after Jarron Collins was called for a block early in the fourth quarter and ran to the scorers’ table and smacked it before returning to the bench. Bell was called for a foul seven seconds later and the boos echoed throughout the arena.
It seemed to wake up the Jazz, who used a 14-4 run to pull ahead from a 64-all tie entering the fourth. Kirilenko converted a three-point play and then a 3-pointer to put the Jazz up 72-64 and added two more field goals until Rafer Alston’s free throw with 7:30 left.
The Heat couldn’t close the gap and lost their fifth straight on the road.
“Obviously we were right there going into the fourth quarter and they just ripped us apart in the fourth,” Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said.
Sasha Pavlovic scored five of his 11 during the fourth and Greg Ostertag also scored 11 for the Jazz. Alston finished with 11 points and seven assistsfor Miami.
Jazz owner Larry Miller drew many laughs and a loud round of applause when he walked out after the introductions in a retro uniform—short shorts, wrist bands and all. After tearing off his warmups he walked to midcourt as if he was going to take the opening tip, then continued to his courtside seat and remained in “uniform” through the first quarter. … Kirilenko’s father, Guennady, flew in from Russia to see his son play in person in the NBA for thefirst time. … Despite all the fouls, Jones was the only player to foul out.