Streaking Jazz fly past HawksFeb 24, 2009 - 6:56 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz didn't get much from Carlos Boozer in his return to the lineup, but they didn't need to.
Ronnie Brewer scored 19 points and the Jazz continued their dominance over the Atlanta Hawks with a 108-89 victory on Monday.
Boozer scored two points in 21 minutes as he returned to the starting lineup for the first time since undergoing knee surgery on January 10. He missed 42 straight games since suffering a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee during a game against Milwaukee on November 19. Loose cartilage in the knee continued to nag Boozer, who ultimately underwent surgery.
"It just felt great to be back out on the court, man. It's been three months and so much anticipation," Boozer said. "Being on my knee, which was my biggest concern, was great. it was the first time I've played five-on-five in months so I was really happy with it. Got to get the rust off, get my conditioning back, that just comes with a couple weeks. But it felt great to be back on the court."
Utah shot 71 percent (29-of-41) from the field in the first half to open up a 66-52 lead. The Jazz extended the advantage to 93-69 after three and cruised to their 15th straight home win against the Hawks.
"It was a really good win," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "Our guys got off to a great start. We shot the ball well. We scored quite a few points in the first half and it looked like it might even out. But we got off to a good start."
Joe Johnson scored 15 points for Atlanta, which has lost two straight and three of four.
"The result of the game was an embarrassment," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "This team plays hard and they're very physical and if you don't meet them head on, then they will beat you by 20 points. We just have to go back and we have to regroup. We just gave up 108 points and that hasn't gotten us our 32 wins that we have. 108 points is just too many points."
Deron Williams had 15 points and 10 assists and Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver added 16 points off the bench. Millsap also added 12 rebounds.
"I think our bench should be better as we move forward. Just kind of deciding who to play and how to play them, that's going to be the toughest thing," Sloan said. "I think we have Millsap, Andrei, Matt, and Knight, guys like that, that should make our bench, our bench should be better. Those guys have been through the wars a little bit, and have had to hold us in there."
Matt Harpring had 15 points off the bench - 11 of which came in the fourth quarter, when he was sent hard to the floor by Atlanta's Josh Smith on a layup attempt.
Harpring hit the deck hard and banged the back of his head on the floor. He had to be restrained by teammates as he charged at Smith when he got back on his feet.
Al Horford scored 14 points and Smith had 11 for the Hawks before he was ejected for the foul on Harpring with 8:40 to play.
"After they reviewed it, it is what it is. There's not a whole lot we can do about it," Woodson said. "We had to go back and send the tape into the league and see what they say. They will make the final decision on it, but at that particular time it was a flagrant 2 and he was ejected from the ballgame."
With the loss, the Hawks dropped to 1-3 on a five-game Western Conference road trip, which they conclude Wednesday in Denver.
UTAH 108 FINAL
Feb 23 11:23 PM
UTAH 93 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 23 10:47 PM
UTAH 66 HALFTIME
Feb 23 10:04 PM
UTAH 31 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 23 9:35 PM
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