Jazz 92, Nets 90

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 18, 2012
Mo Williams scored 19 points, Al Jefferson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz beat the Brooklyn Nets 92-90 Tuesday night despite nearly throwing away the victory. Utah turned it over on two inbounds passes in the final 31 seconds, the last leading to a Nets steal. They pushed it up and got a potential go-ahead 3-pointer from Gerald Wallace that missed. The Jazz escaped when Reggie Evans' follow shot was no good as time expired. Derrick Favors added 13 points against his former franchise for the Jazz, who improved to just 5-10 on the road. Joe Johnson scored 21 points for the Nets, who led for most of the game and by as many as 13 points before dropping their second straight. Brook Lopez finished with 16 points and Deron Williams had 14 for the Nets, who will try to bounce back from this disappointment when they make the short trip to visit the Knicks on Wednesday. Utah trailed for nearly the entire game before finally going ahead when Mo Williams pulled up for a 3-pointer in transition, making it 82-80 with 5:43 remaining. Favors followed with a basket, and Utah kept either a two- or four-point lead the remainder of the way. The Jazz didn't make it easy on themselves at the end. Leading by four, they threw the ball in from the sideline, but Gordan Hayward's pass went untouched out of bounds on the other sideline, giving possession back to the Nets. Johnson followed with two free throws with 22 seconds left, and the Jazz then passed it in from the side again after a Nets foul. Hayward was replaced as the inbounder by DeMarre Carroll, but Carroll's pass was tipped and picked off, setting off the frantic final possession. Deron Williams created some controversy Monday when he expressed his preference for the offensive system he played in under Jerry Sloan in Utah, saying he hadn't been as comfortable in Nets coach Avery Johnson's system. Johnson said he wasn't bothered by the comments, saying he was aware of Williams' concerns and they frequently discussed ways to address them. Williams made the first basket of the game on a well-designed play, coming off a screen for a wide-open jumper. Wallace had eight points in the first quarter and Williams added seven, leading the Nets to a 24-20 lead. The Nets ran off 12 straight points midway through the second quarter, extending a one-point lead to 45-32 on a jumper by Lopez with 5:08 remaining. The Nets led 57-44 at the half when Wallace made a 3-poiner with 1.4 seconds left. Trailing by nine, the Jazz finally got themselves into the game in the third quarter with a 10-2 run, slicing the Nets' lead to 69-68 on a basket by Favors. Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left in the period, sending the Nets to the fourth with a 74-70 edge. NOTES: Deron Williams was the third pick of the 2005 draft by Utah and averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 assists there before his surprising trade to the Nets in February, 2011. Favors was part of that deal. ... The Jazz snapped a two-game losing streak.
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