- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 22, 2008

HOUSTON (AP) — Tracy McGrady disappeared again in the fourth quarter, and the Utah Jazz took a commanding lead in their playoff series with the Houston Rockets.

Deron Williams shrugged off an ankle injury and scored 22 points, and Mehmet Okur added 16 points and 16 rebounds as the Jazz beat the Rockets 90-84 last night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 3 is Thursday night in Utah, where the Jazz went 37-4 during the regular season.

McGrady, a seven-time All-Star who has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs, had 23 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to just miss his first postseason triple-double. But he went 0-for-4 from the field and scored only one point in the final quarter as the Rockets lost to the Jazz for the eighth time in the last 10 meetings.

McGrady scored 20 points in Game 1 but went 0-for-3 in the fourth quarter as Utah won 93-82.

The Rockets still had their chances to win this one.

Luis Scola hit two free throws with 1:21 to go to cut Utah’s lead to 85-82. Williams missed a driving layup, and Bobby Jackson hit a 3-pointer that would have tied the game, but Scola was called for an offensive foul away from the ball when he pushed Andrei Kirilenko. Jackson rebounded from a 3-for-15 effort in Game 1 to score 18 points.

Kirilenko grabbed a key offensive rebound on Utah’s next possession, and Kyle Korver flipped in a one-handed shot as the shot clock expired to put the game out of reach with 20 seconds to go.

Carlos Boozer added 13 points, and Williams had five assists for the Jazz, who closed the game with a 14-8 run.


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