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In a game which seemed dictated more by the guys with whistles in their mounts rather than the guys with the ball in their hand, the Utah Jazz got an improbable victory in Salt Lake City over the Phoenix Suns.

Both teams were missing key players, Phoenix was without MVP and Utah was without defensive star Andrei Kirilenko. Both the Jazz and the Suns were in foul trouble early and often as the referees were more interested in making bad calls than actually letting two of the NBA’s most exciting offenses play. The team teams would combine for 64 personal fouls, 1 technical, 2 defensive three seconds, and 72 foul shot attempts.

The Jazz lead early in the game by as many as seven, but Phoenix would cut the lead to five going into the half. In the third quarter the Suns made a huge run on the Jazz, outscoring Utah 35-19 in the quarter on mostly free throws. In fact Phoenix had 11 consecutive offensive possessions where either a defensive or offensive foul was called.

Phoenix would take a 16-point lead early in the fourth quarter, before the referees swallowed their whistles. Once the referees let the two teams play, Utah came roaring back. To say the refs let the two play is an understatement, they more or less stopped blowing the whistle against Utah.

With the score 106-100, Phoenix, Jazz guard Deron Williams drove to the hoop making a lay-up and getting fouled, Williams would make the free throw cutting the Suns lead to just three. The next Utah possession Mehmet Okur was “fouled” while attempting a three point shot, Okur would make all three free throws and send the game into Overtime.

In the O.T., the Jazz would rely on their size and strength–going inside to Carlos Boozer and Paul Milsap. With Utah leading 120-117, Phoenix would have two chances to tie the game in the closing seconds but missed both of them.

Shawn Marion would lead all scorers with 35, Amare Stoudamire would add 19 points and 12 boards, and former Jazz guard Raja Bell chipped in 20 points for Phoenix. Utah was lead by Deron Williams with 25 points and 14 assists. Williams was one of three Jazz players with double-doubles, the other were Carlos Boozer(22 points, 16 boards) and rookie Paul Milsap(18 points 10 boards).

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    Written By:
    Bran Faurschou