Boozer, Jazz snap six-game losing streakDec 16, 2007 - 6:14 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The struggling Utah Jazz got back to what they do best - playing tough defense.
Carlos Boozer collected 21 points and 16 rebounds and Deron Williams added 18 and 10 assists as the Jazz snapped a six-game losing streak with a 96-75 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday night.
Ronnie Brewer scored 18 points for Utah, which had not won since a 110-101 victory over the Miami Heat on December 3.
"It's a big win for us to, hopefully, get back on track, but to gain a little confidence and be able to finish a game," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I know (Seattle) was tired, it's kind of an unfortunate thing for them to have to play five road games, and the last game is a team in their division. I don't think that's quite fair. I think it's kind of unfortunate on their behalf."
It was the Jazz's longest slide since dropping nine consecutive contests in March 2005.
"We finally got that monkey off our back," Boozer said. "That feels really good. Everybody did a great job contributing. Great win for us. If you think about it, both teams had back-to-backs, both teams came from different states. Big win for us."
It had been a surprisingly bad stretch for the Jazz, who made it to the Western Conference finals last season and were considered one of the favorites in a loaded West this campaign.
But Utah, which is considered one of the toughest and most disciplined squads on both ends of the floor, had allowed 107.5 points per game during the slide and had been outscored by an average of 7.5 points.
"We played good defense," Boozer said. "We got stops when we had to. We continued to get stops continuously throughout the game. That was the difference. We didn't get stops when we needed them. We got stops throughout the entire game and we executed on the other end."
Utah now takes off to play four road games in six days.
"It's definitely nice to have a win, we have a tough stretch," Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko said. "It's a very loaded schedule, we have too much games in a short period of time. Our energy level was a little bit down."
"We've got to get on the road, and we're not the best team right now," Boozer said. "But we're trying to improve in that category. We've got some good teams coming up, and it feels really good to get off that slide."
It looked like more of the same in this one against the young SuperSonics, who had won two in a row entering Saturday's play. Seattle took a 27-20 lead after the first period.
Utah responded in the second on the back of their stellar inside-outside duo, Boozer and Williams, who combined to shoot 17-of-30 for the game.
But Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo praised Utah's entire squad.
"The Jazz played great. They played hard," Carlesimo said. "First half, we had a lot of trouble guarding their twos and threes. I thought we did a good job on Deron. Deron missed some shots he normally makes, but Andrei hurt us, Ronnie Brewer hurt us, Gordan (Giricek) came in and he hurt us and (Paul) Millsap came in and hurt us."
Never was that play more evident than in the decisive second quarter when the Jazz outscored the Sonics, 31-13, en route to a 51-40 lead at halftime. Seattle never got closer than eight points in the second half.
"We didn't get any stops in that second quarter," Sonics rookie phenom Kevin Durant said. "I think they outscored us by a lot during that second quarter. We just need to get some stops, point blank."
Durant tied a season low with just six points for the Sonics, who had won at the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves in their last two games.
"It's a long season," Durant said. "We might have lost this game, but we've got another game in the next few days. Some of these games, some of these bad losses you've got to forget, you've got to forget the wins as well because you have a game the next day. It's a long season, you've just got to keep on playing."
Durant had one of his most impressive games against the Knicks, scoring 30 points - including a decisive dunk in the fourth quarter. He shot just 3-of-11 from the field in 19 minutes on Saturday.
"He will be a great player. Right now, it is a little bit hard for him," said Kirilenko, who defended the rookie swingman for most of the game. "He came from University, he is young. It's not always easy for him to compete. He's got great potential. All he needs is to become a little bit more physical.
"For me, it's always a pleasure to play against great players. He will improve, you can see that."
Wally Szczerbiak scored 24 points for Seattle, which did not have a starter score in double figures.
"That's a (heck) of a feat because, in this league, the guys that are starting are usually very good scorers," Boozer said. "We know they have very capable scorers, so that is something for us to be proud of."
- SEATTLE (75)
fg ft rb
min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp
D Wilkins 27:01 3-8 0-0 0-3 2 0 6
C Wilcox 30:49 1-8 6-6 2-7 2 2 8
N Collison 34:02 4-9 0-1 2-9 0 2 8
K Durant 19:07 3-11 0-1 3-3 1 3 6
E Watson 27:32 1-8 0-0 0-3 5 1 3
W Szczerbiak 32:17 8-16 5-6 0-2 2
Dec 16 12:06 AM
UTAH 76 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 15 10:50 PM
UTAH 51 HALFTIME
Dec 15 10:08 PM
UTAH 20 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 15 9:36 PM
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