Ryan's Place

Monday, March 06, 2006

Rally Falls Short as Magic Lose to Jazz 85-90



From Sportsline.com:

Since the Utah Jazz couldn't make a basket down the stretch, Andrei Kirilenko made certain the Orlando Magic didn't even have a shot in the final seconds.

Kirilenko blocked Jameer Nelson's potential game-tying shot with 9.5 seconds left, then knocked the ball away as DeShawn Stevenson rose to shoot a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds remaining to help the Utah Jazz hold off the Orlando Magic 90-85 on Monday night.

"Jameer drove the baseline and I saw that nobody could help. He was kind of open, so I just made a couple of steps and jumped. It was a good floater, so it was hard for me to block it. I just caught it at the right time," Kirilenko said.

Mehmet Okur scored 22 points for the Jazz, who squandered a 20-point lead and made just one field goal in the fourth quarter on 14 attempts.

The fourth-quarter meltdown didn't go unnoticed by Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller, who walked across the floor with 26 seconds to glare at the players and then had some pointed comments for the team in the locker room after the game.

"They are a bunch of pampered babies," Miller told the media. "We need some guys with some guts and some fire down the stretch. It wouldn't hurt me to turn over all 15 guys, but the trading deadline has passed and there's nothing we can do."

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