76ers 89, Jazz 88

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Samuel Dalembert’s NFL-like collision flattened Gordan Giricek. That was the opening Kyle Korver needed to finish off the Jazz.

Korver rolled off the hard screen and hit the winning basket with 5.1 seconds left, and Andre Iguodala scored 23 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to an 89-88 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Korver got a shot at redemption after his offensive foul led to a Carlos Boozer basket that put the Jazz ahead.

Giricek collided with the 6-foot-11 Dalembert while chasing Korver off an inbounds play, knocking the Utah guard down for several seconds. The block was enough to free Korver to hit the winner.

“He came at the wrong time,” Dalembert said. “I was going to the basket, and I saw him coming and he went right into me. It was the wrong way for him to move.”

Giricek grabbed his right side and needed help off the court.

“I tried to fight through the screen,” Giricek said. “I think (Dalembert) didn’t stop moving. He hit me with his butt. I had my ribs open. Everything happened so quick. We just collided.”

Korver joked Dalembert could pull double-duty with a power move like that.

“The Eagles need to look into that,” a grinning Korver said. “It was great. It was probably a foul. It was a great screen, I was wide open and it was all due to Sam.”

Deron Williams, who hurt the Sixers in the fourth with key baskets, was off the mark on his final attempt and the Jazz suffered their third straight road loss.

Williams finished with 18 points and 16 assists, Mehmet Okur had 15 points and Boozer 14.

Dalembert had 17 points and Andre Miller 16 for the Sixers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

In a few frantic seconds, Korver gave the Sixers the lead, then committed the foul that led to Utah’s go-ahead basket, then won the game for Philadelphia.

Miller was trapped underneath the basket, but was able to find a hole and get the ball out to Korver and he hit a baseline jumper for an 87-86 lead with 1:08 left.

But Korver was whistled for an offensive foul on their next possession, and Boozer capitalized with a tough inside basket that made it 88-87 with 20 seconds to go before Korver hit the winner.

“It was an eventful minute, I guess,” Korver said.

Dalembert, who said the overall officiating was “poor,” did ask about Giricek’s condition.

“At least I’m not obvious like some people and throwing elbows,” Dalembert said.

Neither team had much wiggle room in the fourth, with one go-ahead basket traded for another down the stretch. When Williams wasn’t dishing the assist that led to a clutch basket, he was knocking down jumpers. He scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth, including both his 3s.

The Jazz needed him because they played the fourth quarter without Andrei Kirilenko, who had sprained his left ankle Wednesday against Orlando.

Williams opened the fourth with a 3-pointer, and Boozer added a pair of baskets that pulled the Jazz to 70-64. Williams hit a 3 that tied the game at 73 and Boozer swished a 15-footer that made it 75-73 with 5:50 left.

“We battled back and made some plays and got back into the game,” Williams said. “I was able to take over a little bit.”

From there, the teams traded baskets. Miller hit jumpers from each side, the last one giving the Sixers an 81-80 lead. Williams and Boozer also followed with baskets.

But Korver got the one that really counted—the last one.

“When we play hard and focused, we’re a pretty good team,” Korver said.

About an hour before the game only six Sixers had made it to the Wachovia Center because of a late winter storm that dumped a messy mix of sleet and snow on Philadelphia. There were maybe 1,000 fans in the arena at tip-off, with the late arrivals no doubt slowed by the sleet-covered roads.

Once they waded through the slushy parking lot to find their seat—and plenty of good ones were still available—the Sixers at least gave the fans their money’s worth.

Notes

Several members of the Sixers front office, including team president Billy King, are going to China to scout 7-foot center/forward Yi Jianlian. … Korver (Creighton) and King (Duke) were upset their alma maters were knocked out of the NCAA tournament.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Utah
D. Williams D. Williams
7-12,  18 Pts
2 Rebs, 16 Assists
 Philadelphia
A. Miller A. Miller
8-11,  16 Pts
7 Rebs, 7 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

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Rebounds
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Friday, Mar 16