for this game

Boozer, Jazz pick up another home win

Jan 19, 2008 - 5:26 AM By Chris Bellamy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- It has been exactly four weeks since the Utah Jazz last won on the road. Good thing for them that they were back here on Friday night.

Carlos Boozer registered his 28th double-double of the season, posting 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Jazz won their seventh consecutive home game, 106-88, over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.

A night after failing to capitalize on an opportunity to gain ground in the Northwest Division in a 120-109 road loss to the Denver Nuggets, Utah showed no signs of fatigue or frustration as an efficient offense ran soundly over the struggling Clippers.

"Our energy just seems like it's a lot better here," Utah point guard Deron Williams said. "It seems like we play better defense here. That's been the case all season. We've had success at home and we've struggled terribly on the road."

Seven players reached double figures in scoring as Utah shot 52 percent (43-of-83) from the field and committed just 10 turnovers.

Maybe, that's just the magic touch of EnergySolutions Arena. With the win, the Jazz improved to 17-3 on their home floor, tied for the fewest home losses in the NBA.

"We came back, stayed ready and we were focused out there," Boozer said. "We're still trying to find that magic on the road and, hopefully, we can fix that this coming weekend."

Utah had a 19-point lead by the midway point of the second quarter and rarely let the Clippers up for air.

When Los Angeles' inevitable run finally came, it ended almost as soon as it had begun.

Back-to-back jumpers by veteran point guard Sam Cassell cut the Clippers' deficit to 63-53, but that was as close as it got the rest of the way. Los Angeles never pulled to within single digits.

"We played great tonight. We played aggressive from the beginning," Boozer said. "We got great production, and it was a fun game for us."

In fact, the Jazz were so in control at that point that they even felt comfortable experimenting with the highlight-reel theatrics usually frowned upon by coach Jerry Sloan.

Andrei Kirilenko immediately answered Cassell's buckets with a dangerous pass in the lane to a slashing Ronnie Brewer, who finished with a reverse dunk to increase the lead to 12.

After Chris Kaman's dunk made it 65-55, Deron Williams buried a mid-range jumper and knocked down a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions as the Jazz began building their lead into insurmountable territory.

"We came out in the first quarter and got off to a bad start and never made it up," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We let them get layups and balls to the rim over the top. It had to be 10-plus points just like that, and you can't allow that in a game and have a chance, unless you're playing great to make it up. We just never recovered."

Mehmet Okur sank a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc with 5:36 remaining in the third, pushing the Jazz's edge to 79-61 before another dunk by Brewer once again off a tight pass from Kirilenko, who finished with seven assists made it a clean 20-point lead.

"It was good after the game we had last night," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I thought we moved the ball pretty well, did a little bit better job defensively, which gave us a chance to win it.

"If you pass the ball, try to hit the open man, guys work hard to get open and make the shot. It makes the game a little bit easier."

Okur added another 3-pointer, just for good measure, in the waning minutes of the third as the Jazz poured it on. The club's second unit fared just as well, as the offense didn't seem to miss much when Jason Hart, Matt Harpring and Paul Millsap replaced Williams, Kirilenko and Boozer.

Williams put up 15 points and six assists after battling early foul trouble and Kirilenko added 13, seven and five boards for Utah.

Corey Maggette scored 20 points and Cassell and Kaman added 16 apiece for the Clippers.

  • NBA
    UTAH 106 FINAL

    Jan 18 11:17 PM

  • NBA
    UTAH 88 END, 3RD QTR

    Jan 18 10:49 PM

  • NBA

    Jan 18 10:09 PM

  • NBA
    UTAH 34 END, 1ST QTR

    Jan 18 9:36 PM