Harris, Jazz snap Heat`s 9-game win streak
Salt Lake City: Devin Harris converted a three-point play with 4.5 seconds left and the Utah Jazz snapped the Miami Heat`s nine-game winning streak with a 99-98 victory on Friday night.
LeBron James had 35 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots for Miami, but passed on the final possession to Udonis Haslem, who missed a long jumper at the buzzer.
Dwyane Wade chipped in 31 points and six rebounds. Shane Battier also added 18 points for the Heat (28-8), who were playing without All-Star Chris Bosh.
Al Jefferson came up with 20 points and six rebounds to lead the Jazz (17-18) to their second straight win. Five other players scored in double figures for Utah, led by C.J. Miles with 14 points off the bench.
James led a big fourth-quarter rally, making the go-ahead 3-pointer and then adding a long jumper to give the Heat a 97-94 lead with 26 seconds left. Miami had a chance to put it away, but Wade missed a free throw down the stretch and that put Harris in a position to tie the game or give the Jazz the lead.
Utah dominated Miami in the first half in a fashion. The Jazz collected 29 rebounds compared to 13 for Miami. They grabbed two more offensive rebounds than the total rebounds the Heat collected as a team. Utah totaled 36 points in the paint versus 14 for Miami and scored 20 second-chance points compared to five for the Heat.
Battier burned the Jazz from the perimeter throughout the first quarter. The veteran forward buried all four 3-pointers he attempted in the first quarter and it helped the Heat carve out a 21-16 lead. Miami needed every one of those points to keep pace with a Utah team that sliced to the basket at will and controlled the paint early.
The Jazz had 16 points in the paint in the first quarter alone. They also scored seven second-chance points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Utah`s effort around the glass paid off when Enes Kanter grabbed an offensive rebound, tossed up a short layup and converted the ensuing free throw to give the Jazz a 27-26 lead going into the second quarter.
Utah`s dominance in the paint continued into the second quarter. Between a thundering dunk from Derrick Favors and layups from Kanter, Miles and Alec Burks, the Jazz picked apart Miami`s interior defense and used an 18-4 run to take a 42-30 lead. A pair of jumpers from Jefferson and a driving layup by Harris helped push it to a 53-36 advantage for Utah with 2:21 left before halftime.
The Jazz pushed their lead to 74-56 midway through the third quarter after Gordon Hayward made three straight baskets and set up Harris on a 3-pointer to cap a 13-4 Utah run.
Miami rallied toward the end of the quarter behind Wade and James. Wade made a couple of key baskets to shift momentum back to the Heat. James built the pressure on the Jazz by answering every potentially big basket from Utah with one of his own.
James made six baskets over a five-minute stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters to cut the Jazz lead to 85-79 with 8:17 left. He accounted for 12 of 14 points scored during that stretch. He later made a pair of baskets on back-to-back possessions to tie it at 88 with 4:48 remaining.