Boozer boosts Jazz past Timberwolves
Minnesota, MN (Sports Network) – Carlos Boozer scored 30 points and grabbed
nine rebounds as Utah kept its slim playoff hopes alive with a 103-95 win
over Minnesota at the Target Center.
Mehmet Okur totaled a double-double with 19 points and 13 boards while Matt
Harpring and Devin Brown each chipped in 15 points for the Jazz. Utah is
three games behind Sacramento and the Lakers, who are deadlocked for seventh
place in the Western Conference.
“We’re still in the playoff picture,” said Utah head coach Jerry Sloan. “I
know we don’t play like it sometimes because we give away easy baskets, but we
are still right there.”
Justin Reed scored 18 points off the bench while Rashad McCants had 17 points
and Kevin Garnett totaled 14 points and 13 boards for the Timberwolves, who
have now dropped three straight games.
“It’s pretty tough,” said Reed. “We played a lot of young guys and we’re
getting them experience playing in close games. We’re building for the
Boozer put back his own miss to give the Jazz a nine-point edge, 87-78, early
in the final quarter. However, Minnesota pulled to within four points, 95-91,
with 3:32 remaining as Marko Jaric sank a pair of free-throws.
The Jazz scored the next five points, however, to regain their nine-point
lead, 100-91, as Boozer hit a jumper and then hit two freebies. With just
under a minute left, Utah put the game away as Okur found Boozer with a long
outlet pass that the Utah big man threw down for an uncontested dunk and a
seven-point Jazz lead, 102-95.
Utah held a 22-19 advantage after 12 minutes of play courtesy of a 13-2 run
midway through the opening frame. It led by as many as nine, 28-19, early in
the second quarter and ended the frame on a 9-0 spurt en route to a 50-42
halftime lead. Okur led the way for the Jazz with 15 first-half points.
The Timberwolves tightened things up as they outscored Utah, 34-29, in the
third stanza. Garnett scored 10 points in the frame as Minnesota trailed by
only three, 79-76, through three quarters.
The Jazz won three out of the four meetings between the two teams this
season…Utah has won two of its last three games…Marcus Banks had 14 points
and six assists for Minnesota…Deron Williams scored 13 points for
Utah…Utah outrebounded Minnesota 46-38…The Wolves shot only 1-of-7 from