Jazz improve to 10-1; Sloan gets 900th win as Utah coach
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Carlos Boozer celebrated his 25th birthday with 35 points and nine rebounds, as the Jazz set a franchise record for their best start by rallying from 16 points down in the third quarter for a 101-96 win over Toronto.
Rookie Paul Millsap scored 20 points, as Utah moved to 10-1 and gave coach Jerry Sloan his 900th win as a member of the Jazz in the newly-named EnergySolutions Arena. Mehmet Okur tallied 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Utah’s 10-1 start eclipses the mark from 1998-99, when the team won nine of its first 10 contests before losing at Denver.
Sloan, currently the longest tenured head coach with the same team in U.S. professional sports, picked up his 994th career victory.
Chris Bosh had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead six Toronto players in double figures, but the Raptors lost their sixth in a row to fall to 2-8 for the season.
The Raptors led by two points at halftime, but came out smoking in the third quarter, racing to a 70-54 lead. Bosh’s driving layup capped the spurt with 6:13 remaining in the quarter.
However, the Jazz finished strong in the period, getting within 77-71. They finally went ahead at 86-85 on Okur’s layup with 7:55 left. Millsap added a layup, and Okur then drained a three-pointer with 5:37 remaining, ending a 15-2 Jazz run for a 91-85 lead.
Jorge Garbajosa’s layup cut Toronto’s deficit to 95-93 with 2:41 remaining, but that was as close as the Raptors would get. Boozer responded with a jump hook and then made a jumper for a 99-93 margin.
Garbajosa drained a three-pointer with 1:38 left, but Toronto failed on a few opportunities to tie it, as T.J. Ford and Fred Jones both missed three- pointers in the closing seconds.
Okur then hit two free throws to ice Utah’s win.
Deron Williams had 12 points and eight assists for Utah, while Ford had 16 points for the Raptors.
Utah led 29-25 after one quarter, and in the second was ahead by as many as nine before falling behind, 54-52, at the half.
The Jazz have scored over 100 points in 10 of their 11 games…Toronto is 3-8 at Utah…EnergySolutions, a national energy services company headquartered in Salt Lake City, took over the advertising rights and signage on the exterior and interior of the building. The Delta Center is no more, as the airline held the title for sponsorship rights the previous 15 years…Boozer’s 35 points is one off a career-best…Jones and Andrea Bargnani each had 15 points for Toronto, which also got 10 each from Garbajosa and Anthony Parker.
11/21 00:34:00 ET