SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- With 23 minutes between halves while the Sacramento Kings retired Chris Webber's jersey, Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz had plenty of time for resting, stretching and plotting a second-half surge.
When the Kings surged back, Williams took charge in the final minute for a remarkable victory.
Williams scored 34 points on a badly bruised thigh and hit the go-ahead layup with 20.2 seconds to play, leading the Jazz to a 111-107 victory over the Kings on Friday night.
Williams' poise -- and a couple of beneficial calls, he acknowledged -- in the closing seconds helped the Jazz ruin the Kings' upset attempt in front of Sacramento's first sellout crowd of its dismal season. While the Kings slipped out of the locker room to watch the halftime ceremony, the Jazz were at work with coach Jerry Sloan.
"I just sat back here, right on this chair, and got my legs ready to go," Williams said from his postgame perch in front of his locker. "Our energy picked up in the second half. Right now, I've got to step up for my team like that. I felt like I let them down a little bit when I came back, and now I've got to be more aggressive and more assertive."
Mehmet Okur added 28 points and 11 rebounds for Utah, which won its third straight after erasing a 10-point halftime deficit.
Kevin Martin scored 19 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, putting the Kings ahead 105-102 with 55 seconds left with two free throws and a driving layup on consecutive possessions. Martin scored 11 of the Kings' final 13 points, but couldn't stop Sacramento's 10th loss in 11 games while coming up just short in an entertaining duel with Williams, who scored 12 points in the fourth.
Williams drove the lane and dished to Okur for a tying 3-pointer with 48 seconds left before drawing a charge on Martin, sending the Sacramento bench into a fury. After Williams split the lane for the go-ahead layup, Martin was unable to draw a foul on the other end, sparking another uproar.
"We didn't get some calls to go our way," Sacramento interim coach Kenny Natt said. "The refs thought they were in position. Obviously, I thought they were different."
The Jazz still are firmly in the playoff picture despite losing Carlos Boozer (knee surgery) and Andrei Kirilenko (ankle surgery) to long-term injuries. Williams also missed most of a month with a sprained left ankle before his current thigh woes, while Okur and Harpring also spent significant time on the sideline.
"I think we're going to be OK after all of this," Okur said. "Hopefully Boozer and A.K. are going to come back right after the All-Star break, and we can get back to where we were last year as one of the best teams in the game."
The Kings retired Webber's No. 4 jersey at halftime, celebrating the centerpiece of their sustained run of excellence in the early years of the decade. Webber was joined for the ceremony by Vlade Divac, Doug Christie, Scot Pollard and Mateen Cleaves, along with ex-NBA stars Kevin Johnson and Gary Payton.
"I was happy to be here for it," said Jackson, who played 4 1/2 seasons with Webber. "He's a friend of mine. He's done a lot for this organization and team. He's very deserving."
Sacramento had its eighth consecutive winning season shortly after Webber left town in a trade in 2005, but the Kings have dropped to a spot among the league's worst teams. Kings owner Gavin Maloof acknowledged as much during the halftime ceremony when he asked Webber to represent the club at the next draft lottery -- with 31 games still left in this season.
Before the fourth quarter, the Kings announced that center Brad Miller will be out through the All-Star break with a strained left hip. Miller missed his third straight game against Utah with the injury.
Johnson is now the mayor of Sacramento, and Payton is Webber's partner as a television analyst. ... Jazz G C.J. Miles stayed at the team hotel with a case of bronchitis. "He's not dead, but he's not well enough to play," Sloan said. G Brevin Knight played despite an injured left thumb ... Natt spent nine seasons as Sloan's assistant in Utah. "I saw him stomping over there, and tonight I didn't have to grab him," laughed Natt, whose job description often entailed keeping the hotheaded Sloan away from the officials.
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