SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Jazz seem to like the third quarter.
The Carlos Boozer Archive
For the second game in a row, the Jazz recovered from a slow first half with an explosive third quarter, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-78 Saturday night.
"We pressured the ball in the third quarter and just played harder. More than anything else, the effort was the key," said Utah's Matt Harpring, who scored 22 points and sparked a key third-quarter run.
The Jazz had spurts of 12-0 and 11-1 in the third and the Cavs, playing their last game of a six-game road trip, were unable to muster a comeback.
"We're ready to go home," Cleveland coach John Lucas said. "All those guys know how to play. All my young guys are still developing and learning how to play."
Calbert Cheaney, who hadn't reached double figures in five games, added 13 points for the Jazz, who had similar luck in the third quarter Thursday when they outscored Seattle 34-11 in a 92-85 win.
Utah won its sixth home game in a row and posted its eighth victory in the last 10 games.
Ricky Davis scored 25 points for Cleveland, but had only three after halftime. The Cavaliers have lost their last four games by at least 17 points.
"We got a little more aggressive on him and limited his touches. When he did get the ball, we forced him to the middle where the strength of our help is," Cheaney said.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 21 points for Cleveland, which hasn't won in Utah since 1989, a span of 13 games.
"It's frustrating," Ilgauskas said. "Everyone's frustrated. Nobody likes losing every night."
Rookie power forward Carlos Boozer of Juneau scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Cavaliers, the first time in four games he missed posting a double-double.
Davis scored 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the first half to keep the Cavs close and when Ilgauskas made a layup to open the second half, Cleveland led 49-48.
"We got ourselves in a situation where we needed a real good stretch to get us out of trouble," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.
Harpring started a 12-0 run with a 3-pointer and capped it with a jumper, giving Utah a 62-51 with 6:44 to play in the third. But the Cavaliers didn't give up.
Smush Parker scored on a breakaway layup to trim the Utah's lead to 63-62 before the Jazz closed the quarter with an 11-1 run.
"When we start playing well defensively like we did in the second half, it helps get our offense back in rhythm," said John Stockton, who had eight assists.
76ers 88, Wizards 80
WASHINGTON - Allen Iverson scored 26 points and the Philadelphia 76ers held off a late rally led by Michael Jordan to beat Washington.
Eric Snow matched his season-high with 19 points, and Keith Van Horn had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers, who won for only the second time in nine games.
Knicks 95, Hawks 92
ATLANTA - Clarence Weatherspoon scored a season-high 18 off the bench and Allan Houston added 24 as the New York Knicks won for the second time in five games.
Jason Terry missed a 3-pointer with a couple of seconds left that would've tied it.
Pacers 88, Pistons 86
INDIANAPOLIS - Jermaine O'Neal scored 17 points and hit the winning jumper as time expired, a shot that officials reviewed for about 15 minutes before ruling O'Neal had gotten it off in time.
Officials Joe DeRosa, Jess Kersey and Courtney Kirkland studied the replay, talked with the coaches and then headed to midcourt for more discussion before making their decision. The NBA added instant replay this year, permitting officials to review plays in the final few seconds of any quarter.
Heat 102, Bulls 101, 2 OT
MIAMI - Brian Grant's layup with 7.6 seconds left in the second overtime gave the Miami Heat a win over the Chicago Bulls, who have now lost 19 straight on the road.
The Bulls had a chance win at the buzzer, but Jalen Rose's 22-foot jumper rolled off the rim.
Celtics 97, Bucks 95
MILWAUKEE - Antoine Walker scored 25 points and Paul Pierce made a key jumper with 35.9 seconds left as the Boston Celtics won their third straight.
Kedrick Brown added a career-high 14 points and 10 rebounds in his first start for the Celtics, who had lost eight of 10 before their modest winning streak.
Timberwolves 104, Trail Blazers 98
PORTLAND, Ore. - Kevin Garnett had 31 points and 20 rebounds Saturday night as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, who were without star forward Rasheed Wallace.
Rod Strickland, a former Blazer, had 12 points and 10 assists for the Timberwolves, who won for the third time in four games. Wally Szczerbiak had 16 points off the bench.
Clippers 112, Kings 107
LOS ANGELES - Andre Miller made seven free throws in the final four minutes, including two with 35 seconds remaining that put Los Angeles ahead to stay.
The Clippers capitalized on a huge disparity in free throws. They went 38-of-46 from the line, including Miller's 10-for-10.