Shorthanded Jazz drop Wizards, continue home successApr 1, 2008 - 5:16 AM By Chris Bellamy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Two men down and the Utah Jazz didn't miss a step. In fact, they got the job done in half the time.
Little-used reserve C.J. Miles filled in for injured forward Andrei Kirilenko with a career-high 29 points to lead the Jazz to a 129-87 rout of the visiting Washington Wizards in a game that was essentially decided by the half.
"It was great," Miles said of his personal-best performance. "Just to be in a rhythm and guys finding me, guys helping me out, I just tried to stay moving and get open for the guys to find me, and I was able to knock down some shots."
Miles averages just 11.3 minutes per game but was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Kirilenko, who was suffering from muscle spasms in his right calf that have kept him out for most of the last three games. Utah also was without starting guard Ronnie Brewer (strained groin).
"He was phenomenal. He came out great. He was hitting every shot, did a good job defensively, got a lot of deflections," Utah forward Carlos Boozer said of Miles. "For us, it was great to see C.J. play like that, it gives him some confidence for the next games coming up."
But even without two of his starters, point guard Deron Williams wasn't lacking for options, as the Jazz made quick work of the Wizards, who were eliminated from contention for the Southeast Division title with the loss.
Matt Harpring scored eight points in a 17-0 run early in the second quarter, giving Utah control for good with a 24-point lead.
Despite an offense that typically favors high-percentage shots over perimeter jumpers, the Jazz had plenty of wiggle room after building a dominant early advantage and wiggle they did.
They let the 3-pointers rip in the second quarter, burying five from the arc three from Miles and another pair from Williams in the last 3 1/2 minutes of the second quarter. The Jazz set a new franchise record with 15 3-pointers on the night and shot 59.5 percent (50-of-84) from the field overall.
"That was probably the best we've executed all season from start to finish," Williams said. "Everything was just going. Every now and then, a team gets hot, where everybody's hitting, everybody's clicking, and I think that was the case tonight. Hopefully, it happens more often."
By the time the first-half whistle blew, Utah had a 32-point edge, 73-41, on its way to one of its most dominant performances in franchise history.
"It's unbelievable, the shots they were able to make from the 3-point line. The young fella (Miles) came in and did a great job as far as giving them an added weapon offensively," Wizards forward Antawn Jamison said. "They just had us off our heels defensively, in all aspects of the game."
Even without the lopsided second quarter, in which the Jazz outscored the Wizards, 42-19, the game still would have been decided by double digits. The final 42-point differential was by far the team's largest of the season, eclipsing a 29-point win over Minnesota on March 5.
It was the fourth-largest margin of victory in Utah's history and the largest since a 44-point blowout of the Grizzlies on February 22, 2002.
In just three quarters of work Monday night, Williams dished out 16 assists and scored 12 points, one of seven Jazz players to reach double figures in scoring. Boozer added 19 points, Mehmet Okur had 16, nine rebounds and five assists, and Kyle Korver was perfect off the bench, scoring 15 on 6-of-6 shooting.
With the win, Utah improved to a league-best 33-4 at home. But after Sunday's 110-103 road loss to Minnesota - the team's second loss to the lowly Timberwolves this season - the Jazz still have to play catch-up at the top of the tight Western Conference standings.
"I didn't know we were going to have that kind of energy and play as well as we did, but I was proud of the fact that we came and bounced back and tried to get a win after a loss," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "They forgot about it and came out and played, and that's the most important thing."
UTAH 129 FINAL
Mar 31 11:15 PM
UTAH 105 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 31 10:43 PM
UTAH 73 HALFTIME
Mar 31 10:01 PM
UTAH 31 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 31 9:30 PM
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