Kirilenko converted a three-point play with 18.9 seconds left and Okur added two free throws to cap a 108-102 victory for the Jazz, who rallied in the final minutes and overcame a 37-point night by Iverson.
“We really played well the last four minutes of this game,” Jazz assistant Phil Johnson, who took over when coach Jerry Sloan was ejected in the third quarter for getting two technicals in a 30-second span.
Sloan was the first of Iverson’s victims. The Utah coach was so angry after Keith McLeod and Deron Williams both were called for their fourth fouls—while guarding Iverson—that he said a little too much to the officials.
The Jazz fell further behind before rallying late in the third quarter and leading to a thrilling finish, which McLeod and Williams watched from the bench after fouling out.
“It’s a good thing we have three point guards because we were definitely in foul trouble all night with that,” Johnson said. “They all did a decent job.”
In the end, Milt Palacio was the last of the Jazz point guards and he got his hand on a shot by Iverson that could have tied it. Okur pulled down the rebound and made both free throws when he was fouled to seal it with 11.5 seconds to play.
“We were down six in last two minutes. We don’t give up,” Okur said. “We don’t quit.”
The 76ers finished 37-for-70 from the floor, but the Jazz won the rebounding battle 43-34—13-6 on offensive boards. Utah’s reserves outscored Philadelphia’s 31-10.
“We just didn’t finish the game off. We’ve been having that problem all season,” said Iverson, who is still recovering after twisting his ankle Tuesday in a win at Denver. “Our problem is just stopping people and rebounding the basketball. Until we get that under control, we’re going to continue to struggle through 2006 as well.”
The Sixers led by seven with 3 minutes remaining, but couldn’t hold the lead and fell to 1-3 on a seven-game road trip.
Okur hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 101-all, then the Jazz took advantage of a miss by Iverson at the free-throw line. Iverson hit his first shot, but missed the second with 33.4 seconds left and Kirilenko put Utah ahead for good.
Kirilenko drove through the lane, weaving the ball from side to side and made a layup while getting fouled by Shavlik Randolph. Kirilenko, who has struggled from the line this season, made the free throw to put Utah up 104-102 with 18.9 seconds left.
Iverson tried to tie it with a layup, but Palacio got his hand on the ball as Iverson shot it and the attempt was way off.
“It was tough because we tried to play good D,” said Williams, who fouled out with 3:11 remaining. “Allen Iverson is definitely one of the best players. He’s the toughest person I’ve ever had to guard.”
Samuel Dalembert finished with 10 rebounds to lead Philadelphia, which had just 10 points. … Iverson scored six during an 8-0 run that got Philadelphia within 47-40 in the second quarter after Utah had pulled ahead by 15. … Utah’s 55 points in the first half were a season-high.