for this game

Okur leads shorthanded Jazz over Grizzlies

Nov 23, 2008 - 4:37 AM By Jason Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz didn't need Deron Williams or Carlos Boozer on Saturday to get by the struggling Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.

Mehmet Okur scored a season-high 23 points and Ronnie Brewer added 21 as the Jazz snapped a four-game road losing streak with a 103-94 victory over the Grizzlies.

Utah, already without Williams (left ankle) in 12 of its first 14 contests this season, played its second straight game without Boozer, who suffered a strained left quadriceps in his team's 105-94 home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Even with Boozer out, Utah outscored Memphis, 46-40, in the paint, and finished shooting 55 percent (41-of-75) from the field, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range. Okur and guard Ronnie Price combined to go 6-of-7 from beyond the arc.

"That's the most important thing - you can't feel sorry for yourself," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "It gives other guys a chance to play and they should relish that and be ready to play when they get the opportunity.

"We are sorry that some guys are out, but we are still going to play the game. You have to come and compete and see if you have a chance to win the game."

Rookie guard O.J. Mayo's 23 points led Memphis, which dropped its sixth straight game to Utah and fifth straight contest between the teams at FedEx Forum. Rudy Gay added 23 points for the Grizzlies, who dropped their second straight game overall and sixth of their last seven.

Okur's three-point play with 4:53 left in the third quarter gave Utah its biggest lead of the period at 69-56.

Mayo responded for the Grizzlies, scoring 10 third-quarter points, including eight in a row at one point, over the final four minutes of the period to shave Utah's lead to 77-69 through three.

But Okur began the fourth quarter with a dunk, then drilled a 3-pointer to spark a 12-0 scoring run for Utah over the first 3:05 of the final period. The Grizzlies failed to score for the first 4:03 of the quarter, helping the Jazz build a commanding 89-69 advantage.

"Everyone was active on the defensive end and we were able to help each other," Okur said. "We crashed the boards and ran the floor. It was a nice game for us. We didn't compete (Friday) night (against San Antonio) and had a tough loss. We bounced back tonight and everyone stepped up."

Both teams began the game 7-of-9 from the field, but Memphis cooled off while Utah continued to sizzle offensively, finishing the quarter 12-of-18 to lead by three points after one.

Okur and Brewer combined to go 9-of-13 in the first half, helping the Jazz build a double-digit, second-quarter lead before an 8-3 scoring run over the final 40 seconds of the half pulled the Grizzlies within seven points at the break.

"It was a good game and a good learning experience for our guys," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "Utah has been doing this for quite a long time. We are trying to establish toughness and discipline ethic, and it does take time."

"We didn't execute well and we didn't get the shots we wanted," Mayo said. "We're put together some bad stretches, very good stretches and great stretches. We're just got to learn to play good at least to get what we want."

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