The Utah Jazz had the game wrapped up in regulation, but a missed free throw, and a miscue on defense that left Ben Gordon open for a game tying three forced the game into overtime. Then in the overtime, the Chicago Bulls had the game wrapped up, before a Matt Harpring Jumper, two Mehmet Okur free throws, and finally an Okur three sealed the deal, and gave the Jazz a 109-107 win over the Chicago Bulls.

The game started out slow, despite both teams making their initial shots. The entire first quarter was a slow paced, hard fought, poorly officiated, rough contest. The Jazz went to the free throw line 12 times during the first quarter, and made only five of their freebies, while the Bulls made it to the charity strip eight times, making seven.

Ben Gordon lead the Bulls with 11 points in the first quarter, connecting on mostly easy jumpers from a few feet out. The Jazz got into foul trouble early in the quarter, with Deron Williams out with a sprained ankle, the Jazz were forced to use rookie C.J. Miles for a good portion of the first quarter.

Keith McLeod tried keeping the Jazz in the game, he had two steals, seven points and a few assists and brought the Jazz within five, 28-23, at the end of the quarter. Okur got into early foul trouble, and only played five minutes in the first half.

The second quarter saw one of the oddest sights you’ll ever see at a basketball game, fans actually cheering when Greg Ostertag checked into the game. However Ostertag would not disappoint, he’d have a solid game finishing with six points, four of which came in the second quarter, nine rebounds, and two assists.

Matt Harpring also began to catch fire for the Jazz. He scored six of his team high 28 in the second quarter.

The Bulls however would build up a 11-point lead by the middle of the second quarter, but a Jazz run lead by Milt Palacio, and Andre Kirilenko would cut the lead to six. The Bulls would score again behind a Jannero Pargo jump shot. The Jazz would answer with two Palacio lay-ups to cut the lead to four, with just second left. The Bulls Kirk Heinrich would race down the floor and collide with Ostertag, in what the fans thought was an offensive foul, the called went against Ostertag, and the Bulls were forced to inbound with a second left. Luol Deng’s shot would be blocked by Kirilenko, and the half time score would be 48-44 Bulls.

The second half started out much more fast paced the first half, both teams scored on their first four possessions, before the Bulls were able to build an 8-point lead behind a Gordon jumper. The Jazz would come back behind Palacio and Harpring, Harpring would hit a jumper to cut the lead to six, then Palacio would get an easy lay-up, which the Jazz followed by another Harpring jumper to cut the lead to two.

With the Bulls leading by two, Andres Nocioni forced a bad shot which the Jazz rebounded, and then Tyson Chandler would throw Palacio to the ground, the call would be whistled as a flagrant one penalty. The Jazz would get two free throws, and retain possession. Palacio hit both of the free throws, then with the clock winding down Palacio would hit a three pointer to give the Jazz their first lead of the game at 63-60.

Heinrich would answer for the Bulls with his own three, then the two teams would trade baskets for a few minutes before the Jazz would build a three-point lead with under a minute to go.

The Jazz would go back to Harpring, who hit another jumper to cut the lead to two. Harpring would finish the quarter with 19 points. The Bulls would miss their shot, giving the Jazz a chance to take the lead going into the 4th, the Jazz would get an easy lay-up with just seconds to go in the third. However, Kirk Heinrich would go the length of the court as time expired to give the Bulls back the lead at 72-71.

The teams would trade baskets during most of the early 4th, before Matt Harpring hit a three pointer, and Kirilenko would make two free throws giving the Jazz a seven-point lead. The Bulls would cut the lead to two after a Gordon lay-up with about four minutes to go.

The Bulls found Greg Ostertag who made one of two, giving the Jazz a three-point lead. The Bulls however had two changed to cut into this lead, but took bad shots, from the arc. This allowed the Jazz to move the ball at their own pace, and it allowed Matt Harpring to get open for another three to put the Jazz up six with two minutes to go.

The Bulls would get two free throws to cut the lead to four, then a Gordon Jumper cut the lead to just two. The Bulls would foul Matt Harpring with about 17 second left in the game. In a deja vu from the Lakers game earlier this year, the score was 92-90 Jazz, and Harpring was shooting free throws. Harpring would hit one of two, just like he did in the Lakers game, giving the Jazz a 93-90 lead.

The Bulls would have a chance to tie the game, they went to Gordon who had the ball striped out of bounds with 11 second left. The Bulls would inbound, and Gordon would get wide open for a game tying three, which he hit. The Jazz would have won last chance, but a poor shot by Palacio would send the game into overtime.

In the overtime it looked like the Bulls had stolen the momentum, the Bulls quickly built a seven-point lead after a Nocioni three with about two and a half minutes to go. Andre Kirilenko would hit a three pointer on the very next play to cut it to four, but after a pair Gordon free throws and two minutes to go, it looks like it was the Bulls game.

The Bulls were leading 106-100 when the Jazz began to make their move. Keith McLeod would get a lay up, then force Gordon to miss a jumper. The Jazz would give the Ball to Okur who would be fouled. Okur would hit both free throws to cut the lead to 106-104.

The Bulls would turn the ball over with under a minute to go, giving the Jazz a chance to tie the game. Matt Harpring would hit a jumper to tie it with less than 50 second to play.

Tyson Chandler would be fouled with 25 second to go, but make only one of two, giving the Jazz a chance to win the game. The Jazz would look for their hot hand in Harpring, but Harpring would miss a jumper with about six second left, Deng would grab the rebound for what looked like a sure Bulls win.

Deng’s outlet pass however was tipped by Utah’s Devin Brown, Brown tip the pass to Kirilenko, who passed to McLeod, who found a wide-open Mehmet Okur for three. The Bulls had 0.7 seconds left to try and tie the game. Andres Nocioni would hit a three pointer, but he pump faked, and time expired before he released.

Notes:
The Jazz had four players miss the game today, guard Deron Williams missed his second career game, while Gordon Giricek sat out his 3rd straight game, as did guard Andre Owens, Center Robert Whaley missed his 10th straight, and forward Carlos Boozer who has sat out the past year.

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    Written By:
    Bran Faurschou


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