Jefferson helps Jazz hold off Heat

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Updated: January 15, 2013

When LeBron James and the Miami Heat made their run, the Utah Jazz held their ground.

Al Jefferson tallied 23 points and 11 rebounds in Utah’s 104-97 win over the
Heat.

Gordon Hayward scored 22 points for the Jazz, who have won seven straight home
games against Eastern Conference opponents.

James netted 32 points for Miami, which has dropped three of its first four on
their six-game road trip.

The Heat trailed by as many as 21 in the third before an elongated 21-5 run
pulled the hosts within two in the fourth.

“It was a great comeback coming into the quarter. Our guys really played their
hearts out, really competed. Everything has got to go right if you are down
20, but we gave it a shot,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Ray Allen hit a pair of 3-pointers and had eight points during the surge,
which was capped when Joel Anthony split a pair from the charity stripe to
pull Miami within 93-91 with 3:32 to play.

Led by Hayward, though, Utah countered and outscored the Heat 11-6 the rest of
the way.

Hayward’s runner, followed by two Jefferson free throws two possessions later
put the Jazz up by a 97-91 count. Hayward then made 1-of-2 from the stripe
before James hit a floater. But Hayward provided the dagger on Utah’s ensuing
trip down the floor when he hit a step-back jumper from the foul line for a
100-93 Jazz advantage with 40.4 left.

“We needed to make one,” Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin said of Hayward’s shot.
“It gave us a little sigh of relief with the amount of time on the clock.”

Hayward had seven points over the last three-plus minutes.

Earlier, Utah built a 30-25 cushion after a quarter of play before taking a
59-44 edge into the locker room.

The Jazz took an 84-65 spread into the final frame.

Game Notes

Utah moved to 40-7 at home against the Eastern Conference since February of
2009 … Chris Bosh poured in 16 points for Miami … The Jazz pulled down 13
offensive rebounds.