Boozer, Williams shine as Jazz crush Warriors in openerOct 31, 2007 - 6:48 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) - Although there was much anticipation for the Golden State Warriors on Opening Night in a rematch of last season's Western Conference semifinals, the Utah Jazz proved to be too much once again.
Carlos Boozer scored 18 of his 32 points in the first half as the Jazz rolled to a convincing 117-96 victory over the Warriors on Tuesday.
Deron Williams had 24 points and eight assists and second-year swingman Ronnie Brewer poured in 18 points for the Jazz, who defeated the Warriors in five games during the playoffs.
"I thought we played a lot better than I anticipated," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We had a lot of guys that played well and we were better defensively than I thought we'd be. It was a little bit better than I expected."
Despite the loss in the postseason, Golden State was hoping to build off its "Cinderella" story after upsetting powerhouse No. 1 seed Dallas in the first round last season.
"It's a great win for us because we knew they'd want payback for us ending their season," Williams said. "I think its a great win because this is a tough place to play, and it's great getting a win on our opponent's floor."
The Warriors failed to capitalize on their success as the Jazz took the lead for good with a 10-1 burst in the second quarter for a 38-31 advantage with 9:16 remaining.
"They're a very good team and we have a long way to go," said Boozer, who pulled down 15 boards. "I'm really proud of my guys. We did a good job defensively. We got stops when we had to. They have a very potent offense, and we did a good job on some guys."
Gordan Giricek's shot from the arc helped Utah create a 62-51 advantage at halftime, and a fadeaway jumper by Brewer made it a 16-point bulge with four minutes left in the third.
"If we can score in the paint, it'll open up jump shots for us, and that's our focus as well," Boozer said.
Baron Davis had 25 points, 10 assists and five steals and Mickael Pietrus scored 17 for Golden State, which fell to 2-4 in its last six home openers and was outrebounded 56-37.
"I mean it's the first game," Davis said. "Last year, we lost our first game to the (Los Angeles) Lakers at home and everybody was writing us off. I'm not worried. We've got 81 games. We just didn't play to our capabilities or with that fire and that passion."
The Warriors were without forward Stephen Jackson, who was serving the first of his seven-game suspension for firing a handgun outside an Indianapolis strip club last fall.
"Jack brings everything - energy, defense - he's just a great team player and a team leader," said Warriors guard Monta Ellis, who scored 17 points. "We missed him tremendously, but I won't say that if he was here he would have made a difference of us winning or losing. But he definitely would have given us that spark to scrap like we usually scrap."
GOLDEN STATE 96 FINAL
Oct 31 1:09 AM
GOLDEN STATE 72 END, 3RD QTR
Oct 31 12:37 AM
GOLDEN STATE 51 HALFTIME
Oct 30 11:53 PM
END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
UTAH 28 28
GOLDEN STATE 30 30 END 1ST QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
UTH - CARLOS BOOZER 10, RONNIE BREWER 8, DERON
GSW - BARON DAVIS 9, KELENNA AZUBUIKE 9, MONTA
Oct 30 11:16 PM
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