Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 3/4/12
Rookie Enes Kanter hurried out of the Jazz locker room Friday night, obviously not expecting any interview requests after Utah's 99-98 victory over Miami. But why not? Kanter played a major role in the Jazz's most significant win of the season. He finished with 11 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes -- only the fourth time he's reached double figures and the first time during a victory since Jan. 17. "It was great," Kanter said. "I'm just, like, so amazed. I'm having fun with my teammates. I'm learning how to win. It's just so crazy to me." Asked about helping the Jazz beat global stars like the Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Kanter grinned. "I respect Miami a lot," he said. "[But] we played great defense and smart offense and win the game. I'm so happy." Kanter helped lead a fierce effort by the Jazz's bench, which outscored Miami's non-starters, 36-7. "We wanted the game more," Kanter said. "We just went out there and played and kept fighting every minute." Coach Tyrone Corbin praised Kanter, who doesn't celebrate his 20th birthday until May 20. "He just continues to impress us every time he steps on the floor," Corbin said. "He's a big guy who plays big. He does a great job of playing inside and getting his hand on a lot of balls. ... "He had some good offensive rebounds tonight and did a good job of finishing. He got the ball on the low post and made some good moves -- a little baby hook and and up-and-under. He's coming along." The Jazz took a 27-26 lead into the second quarter, when Kanter and a group that also included C.J. Miles, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Earl Watson turned the game in Utah's favor. Kanter scored four points and during a 15-4 run that turned the one-point advantage into a 42-30 lead. The Heat needed 5:41 to score a field goal. "They did a good job of executing our plays," Corbin said. "They pushed the ball up the floor and we got some opportunities in transition. But the defense is what triggered it all. They were really active ... and as a result we were able to run." Kanter's most eye-opening move came with 4:32 left in the half, when he took a pass from Watson, broke down the lane, spun around a defender and gently put the ball off the glass. When it was suggested that few knew he had the quickness to finish the play, Kanter smiled again and said, "I guess I can." Corbin laughed and said, "He's getting quicker." Alt Heads: Kanter proves a big contributor A breakthrough game Enes Kanter's statistics from the last four games:
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