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Okur's 30 points help Jazz overcome deficit in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) -- Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan wants the ball in
Mehmet Okur's hands when a 3-pointer can win the game.

"He's such a wonderful shooter," Sloan said. "We're always
shocked when he misses a shot."

Okur scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to help the
Jazz erase a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit and beat the Atlanta
Hawks 112-106 on Wednesday night.

"My teammates keep telling me, 'Shoot the ball! Shoot the
ball!" Okur said. "We don't give up. We're not going away. We
just play harder and harder every day."

Okur's 3-pointer from the right corner all but sealed the
victory with 26.4 seconds remaining. The Hawks had nobody defending
Okur when he launched his jumper that gave Utah a 110-104 lead.

The Jazz won on Nov. 22 at Sacramento after trailing by the same
margin, but they overcame a third-quarter deficit against the
Kings. In that game, Okur's 3 with 1:45 remaining gave Utah the
lead for good.

Since the start of December, Okur has hit 57.1 percent of his 42
attempts from beyond the arc. His 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left
on Dec. 2 beat Seattle. A 3-pointer with 1:47 remaining against the
Hawks put the Jazz ahead to stay at 106-103.

"We have to play good defense all together and help each
other," Okur said after going 4-of-5 on 3s. "I think we'll be
fine. It feels good out there. We don't give up. We stay hungry. We
execute. I knew it was going to be a long night. But we didn't give
up."

A five-point possession with 10:23 remaining turned the momentum
in favor of Utah, which outscored the Hawks 40-13 in the final
period.

Derek Fisher hit a 3-pointer but missed the ensuing free throw
and Carlos Boozer grabbed the rebound. The Jazz ran off 16 seconds
before Andrei Kirilenko fed the ball underneath to Boozer, whose
lay-in cut Atlanta's lead to 95-83.

"This kind of dropped out of the sky," Sloan said about the
victory. "You're sitting on pins and needles in this business.
Everybody thinks this is fun."

Utah had lost four of six on the road, including an overtime
defeat at New York on Monday night, but the Jazz won their fourth
straight in Atlanta and took their eighth consecutive series win.

Marvin Williams, who played the second half despite bruising his
left hand earlier in the game, was 0-for-5 in the fourth quarter.
Josh Smith was 1-for-6.

Joe Johnson scored 27 points to lead the Hawks, who have dropped
five of six. Smith had 12 rebounds.

Despite the big lead, Atlanta seemed to lack confidence.

"Even when we're up, our body language says we're losing,"
Smith said. "We shouldn't feel that way."

Johnson looked at injured teammate Tyronn Lue, who was not in
uniform, and wondered aloud if the Hawks were headed for trouble.

"I told T-Lue before the fourth quarter started that coming
into this quarter you never know what to expect," Johnson said.
"Just that quickly, we lost the lead."

Near the end of the second quarter, Okur hit consecutive
3-pointers, the second coming with one-third of a second remaining,
to cut Atlanta's lead to 54-53.

Deron Williams finished with nine assists and 13 points for
Utah. Boozer also had 13 points and Kirilenko 12.

Game notes
The Jazz improved to 21-2 when scoring 100 points. ...
Marvin Williams, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft, missed
the first 17 games this season with a fracture in the same hand.
... Hawks G Josh Childress hoped to return from a left foot sprain,
but the third-year player missed his 17th straight game on the
injury list.

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