US Basketball: Jazz win, maintain Northwest Division lead

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Mehmet Okur scored 12 of the last 14 points for the Utah Jazz in the final minutes of their game against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, propelling the Jazz to a 100-95 win against the Bulls. Okur finished with 20 points and was the high scorer for the Jazz, who now have won three in a row. He played most of the fourth quarter despite picking up a fifth foul early in the final period. In addition to Okur's contribution, Deron Williams contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds in the effort.

Kirk Hinrich was the game's leading scorer with 26 points, and Luol Deng contributed 23. However, the Jazz shot 50% from the field and dished out 24 total assists. The Bulls could not match those numbers, only shooting 40% and earning 15 assists. The lack of ball movement was obvious early on, as the Bulls committed three offensive fouls in the second quarter - all as the result of Bulls players attempting to drive the ball rather than pass and try to break the effective zone of the Utah Jazz. Ben Gordon also picked up a flagrant foul early in the second quarter, starting off what would be an ugly twelve minutes for the visiting Bulls. The Bulls were outscored 33-18 in the second quarter, leaving them down 57-43 at the half.

It almost wasn't enough of a lead for the Jazz, as the Bulls were able to fight back and cut the lead to three with a three-point shot from Chris Duhon with 1:20 remaining in regulation time. However, the Jazz answered right back with an Okur three-point field goal, and the Bulls could not recover. While the Bulls would answer back with another field goal, the Jazz would score the next four points and pull away with the victory.

Game notes

  • Andres Nocioni was scratched with a foot injury. Team doctors believe that he may have a torn or inflamed plantar fascia; MRI results are not due back for another day or two. [1]
  • Jazz coach Jerry Sloan received a technical foul for arguing with the officials midway through the fourth quarter.
  • Earlier in the day, the Bulls' Tyrus Thomas was named as one of the four participants in the 2008 Slam Dunk Competition during All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas.