Boozer powers Jazz past Rockets
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Carlos Boozer poured in 24 points and
pulled down 19 rebounds as Utah opened its season with a 107-97 victory over
the Houston Rockets in a battle of teams that missed the playoffs last season.
Deron Williams contributed 18 points and 10 assists, while Mehmet Okur added
17 points for the Jazz, who shot 52.7 percent from the field.
Veteran point guard Derek Fisher, who was acquired in the offseason by the
Jazz, ended with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Tracy McGrady had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, while Yao Ming
had a solid game with 22 points and nine rebounds, going 8-of-12 from the
The Jazz led by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter, but the Rockets
got within five at 99-94 on a three-pointer by Rafer Alston with 3:32
However, Williams, Okur and Fisher all hit jumpers and Williams’ layup made it
107-94 with 1:01 left.
C.J. Miles scored 12 points for Utah, which beat Houston at the Delta Center
for the 17th time in the last 19 meetings.
Alston scored 15, Kirk Snyder had 13 and Shane Battier added 11 for the
Houston put in five of the game’s first six points, but trailed by nine after
12 minutes. Eight straight points by the Jazz moved them to a 17-12 lead and
it was 35-26 going into the second quarter.
Two free throws by first-round draft pick Ronnie Brewer extended Utah’s lead
to 45-30 and the Jazz held a commanding 60-48 lead at the half. The margin was
85-72 going into the fourth.
The Jazz have captured four season openers in a row…Houston’s next game is
home versus Dallas on Saturday, while Utah plays at Phoenix Friday…Houston
shot 43.2 percent from the field…Utah forward Andrei Kirilenko was limited
to five points.