Suns, Jazz, Pacers win in wild finishes in the NBA
Phoenix Suns rookie Tyler Ulis and Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert shared the limelight with a pair of stunning buzzer beaters to lift their NBA Western Conference clubs to victory.
Gobert’s tip-in game winner in overtime was originally ruled no good, but was counted after a video review, and the Jazz defeated the host Sacramento Kings 110-109.
Ulis scored a career-high 20 points, including a walk-off three pointer from the right side as time expired to gave the Suns a 109-106 victory over the Boston Celtics.
France’s Gobert finished with 24 rebounds, the last one on a tip of a missed shot.
“I was at the right place at the right time. I didn’t know how much time was left, but I saw (Hill) go off to the left side, and I just tried to go get it,” Gobert said.
Willie Cauley-Stein made two free throws with eight seconds left to put the Kings ahead 109-108.
Following a timeout, Jazz guard George Hill’s jump shot fell short, but Gobert reached up and tapped it home.
The referee originally ruled that Gobert’s tip came after the final buzzer but reversed the call.
Gobert finished with 16 points and Rodney Hood had a team-high 28 points in his first game back after a two-game absence for Utah.
“It’s kind of who Rudy is,” coach Quin Snyder said of Gobert. “We talk about what a competitor he is. He doesn’t give up on plays.”
Gordon Hayward added 23 points as the Jazz won their second straight and improved to 39-24 on the season.
Ty Lawson scored 19 points and hit a series of big shots to pace the Kings, who lost their fourth straight. The Kings have not had a 20-point scorer in any of them.
In Phoenix, Ulis made eight of 12 field-goal attempts and added five assists. He had 17 points at half-time, surpassing his career high of 14, and scored 11 consecutive Phoenix points in once stretch.
– ‘Thanks for coming’ –
“Tyler Ulis. No more questions. Thanks for coming,” Suns coach Earl Watson said to begin his post-game news conference.
Eric Bledsoe tied the game on a layup with four seconds remaining, and after Marquese Chriss slapped ball away from Isaiah Thomas on the inbounds play, it rolled right to Ulis.
“(Chriss) made a big play,” Ulis said. “He harassed Isaiah trying to slow him down and ended up getting a steal. It fell into my hands, and I had to let it go with confidence. It feels great. They’re a playoff team.”
Bledsoe had 28 points, Devin Booker had 16, TJ Warren had 14 and rookie Chriss had 10 points as the Suns won a third straight for the first time this season.
Thomas had 35 points and five three-pointers, and Jae Crowder contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics.
Elsewhere, there was another wild finish in Atlanta as Glenn Robinson drained a three-pointer with 0.6 seconds left as the Indiana Pacers overcome a six-point deficit with less than two minutes to play to stun the Hawks 97-96 at Philips Arena.
In Dallas, Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, the league’s leading scorer, was frustrated all night long by the Mavericks defense and finished with 29 points in a 104-89 loss.
Dallas won for the fourth time in five games to climb within two games of a playoff position. Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double this season.
Westbrook shot just eight of 24 to go along with six rebounds and five assists. He also picked up his 14th technical foul on the season and a flagrant foul for shoving a Maverick player in the third quarter
In Washington, Bojan Bogdanovic made eight of 10 three-pointers, including two in the final 66 seconds, as the Washington Wizards rallied past the Orlando Magic 115-114.
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