Miles, shorthanded Jazz rout SunsNov 18, 2008 - 6:19 AM By Tony Pizza PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz cleansed their palate of a recent 1-4 Eastern Conference road trip and a three-game losing streak by doing what they do best - win at home.
Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 15 rebounds and CJ Miles added 21 points as the Jazz used a 17-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to run away with a 109-97 victory over the visiting Phoenix Suns on Monday.
"We had big hearts tonight, everybody came in and took pride in what we were doing out there," Boozer said. "After being down, that shows a lot of character for us, especially after being on a tough road trip."
An All-Star forward, Boozer shot 7-of-15 from the field and 7-of-11 from the line, while Miles - playing in place of superstar point guard Deron Williams - was 9-of-13 from the floor to boost Utah, which went a league-best 37-4 at home last season.
"Guys came in ready to go, we looked great out there," Boozer said. "There were moments where we looked fantastic."
Williams, who has played just two games this season due to a left ankle injury, again sat out along with All-Star center Mehmet Okur. During their woeful road trip, the Jazz played without Williams, Okur, Matt Harpring and Andrei Kirilenko at one point.
Utah was holding a slim 86-84 lead with exactly 10 minutes remaining in the game. Four minutes and 10 seconds later, the Jazz's two-point lead had grown to 103-86 after holding Phoenix scoreless for 4:39 minutes.
"They did a good job. We didn't show a lot of poise during that stretch, we really seemed to be in a hurry," first-year Suns coach Terry Porter said.
Kirilenko put his statement on the run by scoring six points and coming up with back-to-back blocks on Suns center Shaquille O'Neal within a five-second span near the end of the run that sent the sellout crowd into an uproar. Kirilenko finished the game with 19 points, including an 8-of-8 performance from the free-throw line, to go with seven rebounds and two assists.
"Our bench was terrific," Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan said. "They gave us a tremendous lift. Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap, Brevin Knight and even Matt Harpring."
Utah's bench outscored Phoenix's reserves, 59-16.
Steve Nash picked up his fifth foul with the Jazz holding a slim 81-79 lead with 5:05 left. With Nash out, the Jazz were able to extend their lead to six to start the fourth quarter.
Nash, who finished with 14 points and eight assists, returned at the start of the fourth to lead the Suns back to within two, before the Jazz blew open the game.
"Just got to keep fighting," Nash said. "I still had plenty of minutes out there to make a difference and didn't get it done. We don't really run that well. They're a good running team at home and we're not really a running team at the moment."
Phoenix jumped out to an early nine-point lead behind Amare Stoudemire's 15-point, first-quarter performance. The All-Star forward finished with 30 points.
The Jazz, however, stayed in the game as Miles scored 15 of the Jazz's 23 opening-quarter points. Utah used a 34-22 advantage in the second quarter to take a 57-54 lead at halftime.
O'Neal finished with nine points - all in the second half - and Matt Barnes added 19 in the loss for Phoenix.
"They worked a little harder than we did tonight and that's why they won," O'Neal said. "It's tough to come into this building and play, and they just worked harder than we did."
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