Jazz shock Heat
SALT LAKE CITY -- Considering the limited amount of victories the Utah Jazz have, it is not surprising that their victory Saturday night ranked at the top of their best wins of the year.
Likewise, their win was one of the bigger surprises of the 2013-14 season.
Forward Marvin Williams tied his season high with 23 points and rookie point guard Trey Burke hit a late clutch jumper as the Jazz stunned the Miami Heat 94-89 at EnergySolutions Arena.
"Our locker room should be excited about the effort that they gave tonight," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "And they should be excited about the great win."
Williams hit 5 of 8 3-pointers, including back-to-back shots late in the fourth quarter to give the Jazz an eight-point lead that proved big enough to withstand Miami's final surge.
Williams put this victory up with the Jazz's 111-105 win over New Orleans on Nov. 13. That one was significant because it was Utah's first of the season after an 0-8 start.
"Definitely the top three. Outside of that first one (of the season), I can't think of a bigger win than this one," Williams said. "The guys really responded from last night (a 103-81 loss in Dallas), and it's a good feeling to come back and play like that."
Miami missed its final four shots as its three-game winning streak was snapped. Guard Dwyane Wade led the Heat (35-14) with 19 points and forwards LeBron James and Chris Bosh scored just 13 points apiece on a combined 7-of-25 shooting from the field.
"We never could get over that hump," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Particularly from that first quarter where they really jumped us and blitzed us and used their energy and youth and athleticism to take that double-digit lead. But at the end of the day, we still had some plays to make down the stretch and they made more of them."
Williams and Burke made the biggest plays.
Burke, who was just named Western Conference rookie of the month, hit the clutch shot of the game with a mid-range jumper with 24.2 remaining to put the Jazz ahead 93-89. That shot came seconds after Miami guard Ray Allen's 3-pointer made it a two-point game.
"The coaches trusted me. The players trusted me," Burke said. "I felt like some of the shots that I usually make weren't falling tonight and haven't been falling the past couple of games. But they continue to come to me and tell me to play, play with confidence, don't think about it, just play freely. That's what I did tonight."
Burke finished with 13 points, small forward Richard Jefferson scored 14 and shooting guard Gordon Hayward flirted with a triple-double, contributing 11 assists, nine rebounds and nine points for the Jazz.
The win was Utah's third straight over Miami at home and snapped a four-game skid.
The Heat were in Utah on Friday while the Jazz stumbled to a 103-81 loss in Dallas. But even though Miami had three days off since beating the Clippers 116-112 on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, it was the Jazz who came out with more energy.
After falling behind 4-0, the Jazz took a 6-4 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Williams and Jefferson.
Williams scored five more points in an 8-0 spurt later in the first quarter and Utah eventually went ahead by 14 points in the first half.
Chalmers capped a 16-6 spurt toward the end of the second quarter with a 3-pointer that gave Miami its first lead since the beginning of the game.
Utah, however, finished the half with some momentum when Williams hit a deep shot for a 52-50 halftime lead. This was the second night in a row the Jazz forward drained five 3-pointers.
The Jazz maintained that two-point edge through the third quarter before increasing its lead to eight in the fourth after Williams' treys. His second three was an off-balanced heave that he barely unleashed in time to beat the shot clock. It put Utah up 87-79 with 3:34 remaining.
"That three Marvin Williams hit at the end of the shot clock hurt us a little bit as we were making our run," Wade said. "We still had a chance to come back, and we gave ourselves a chance to win. From that stance, we did our job. We just didn't come out with the victory."
The Heat, the NBA's top-shooting team, only shot 43.3 percent from the field and scored 15 points below their season average. Miami made a franchise-record 63.4 percent of its shots from the floor against Utah in 117-94 blowout in Miami on Dec. 16.
"We played well enough defensively to win the game," James said. "Offensively, we didn't shoot the ball well like we are capable of doing. That is what it came down to."
NOTES: Miami C Chris Bosh admittedly isn't much of a Winter Olympics fan, but he joked that he could see the creative F LeBron James excel as a figure skater and kidded about a possible different sport for SG Dwyane Wade. "He's short, so he could do that speedskating," Bosh told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. ... Miami had not won in Utah since a 111-98 victory on Dec. 8, 2010. The Jazz won the last two meetings between the teams at EnergySolutions Arena. ... Upon urging by Jazz assistant Sidney Lowe, rookie PG Trey Burke watched Miami SG Ray Allen warm up before Saturday's game. Allen then took Burke to the side and had an extended conversation with him. "He was basically trying to help me figure out how to get into a regular routine that I can stay consistent with," Burke said. "He said it will definitely help you out on the court. ... You always like talking to vets like that."
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