The Miami Heat extended their winning streak over the Utah Jazz to four games with a 100 to 94 victory in Salt Lake City. Dwyane Wade lead the Heat with 31 points, while James Posey added 17. The Jazz, who dropped only their second game in their last ten, were lead by Andrei Kirilenko who had 25 points, and Mehmet Okur who had 20.
The Jazz took an early 2-0 advantage to take the lead, but Miami would answer with a 5-0 run, including a three pointer by James Posey; one of eight Miami trays for the night. The Jazz, however quickly answered with a nine point run of their own to take an 11 to 5 advantage.
The Heat would come back after a time out and go on a ten point run, where Posey would hit two more threes. Posey finished 5-8 from beyond the arc, and the Heat as a team finished 8-18.
Most of the game was made up of runs, the Jazz would get up by five or six points then the Heat would come back, then they’d go up five or six points only to have the Jazz come back.
Mehmet Okur hit a three-point jumper with a second and a half in the first quarter to give the Jazz a 28-26 lead. Okur scored 12 points and pulled down eight boards in the first quarter alone. The Jazz defense held Shaquille O’Neal to zero points in the first quarter.
The Jazz took a quick six point lead in the second quarter only to have it answered by Gary Payton, who lead the Heat reserves with 11 points.
Midway through the second quarter Shaq would get his first point on a free throw. But the Jazz would contain O’Neal the entire game, using a tandem of Greg Ostertag and Jarron Collins. At the half with the Heat trailing 48 to 50 O’Neal had but five points.
The start of the third quarter saw both teams come out sluggish. Miami would heat up at about the eight minute mark, and turn a two-point deficit into an 8-point lead. But the Jazz would come back and take the lead for a short time as the quarter wound down. But the play of Wade, and Antoine Walker gave the Heat a three-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Heat would control the game from the start of the fourth. The Jazz had problems running their offense most of the 4th, because Miami defenders would tip their passes. The Jazz would have 14 turnovers, giving up 8 steals, which lead to 23 points off turnovers for the Heat.
Kirilenko tried to keep the Jazz in the game, but stupid plays and bad shots by Milt Palacio and Gordon Giricek sealed the deal for the Jazz, who had their five game home winning streak snapped.
Shaq finished with 12 points on 5-14 shooting, and 14 rebounds. Rookie Gerald Fitch mad his first career NBA start, finishing with 10 points and 4 assists.
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