Okur paces Jazz past Minnesota
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Mehmet Okur netted 28 points, as the
Utah Jazz topped Northwest Division-rival Minnesota, 106-91, despite the
return of Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis from suspensions.
Deron Williams posted 21 points and a career-high tying 15 assists for the
Jazz, who won their fourth straight. Carlos Boozer scored 18 points and Matt
Harpring added 11 off the bench.
Davis netted 32 points for the Timberwolves, who lost their fourth straight.
Garnett posted 17 points and 11 rebounds for his 13th straight double-double,
and Mark Blount added 11 points in defeat.
Davis had been suspended one game for leaving the bench and walking into the
locker room during the 104-98 double overtime loss to the Pistons on Friday.
Garnett, meanwhile, was suspended for his involvement in an altercation during
that same game.
Minnesota got going on a 9-0 run midway through the first capped by a Blount
free throw with 5:32 remaining, and led 23-20 heading into the second.
“We kind of had a bad start in the ballgame,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.
“The guys off the bench came in and gave us a nice lift in the first and
Utah found its offense in the second. The Jazz scored the first and the last
six points of the stanza, and went on a 13-3 burst down the stretch capped by
a Paul Millsap dunk with just under three minutes left for a 49-36 halftime
“I thought it was the second quarter that kind of broke our back,” Minnesota
coach Dwane Casey said. “We dug a deep hole. When our first unit went out, we
had some costly turnovers, and Utah capitalized on those turnovers.”
Minnesota came out of the locker room on an 8-0 spurt sparked by a Davis alley
oop from Mike James 33 seconds into the second half. Just as the Wolves
started to rally, though, Utah went on an 8-0 spurt of its own midway through
the stanza capped by an Okur dunk with 5:19 remaining and led 83-66 heading
into the fourth.
The Wolves started to rally, starting the final stanza on a 16-2 run capped by
a Davis trey, to cut their deficit to just six with 7:17 to go. However, Utah
closed the game on a 10-4 run sparked by a pair of Okur free throws with 3:08
left to preserve the win.
This was the second of four meetings between the squads this season. The
Timberwolves defeated Utah, 110-103, on December 8th at the Target
Center…Minnesota has split its last six games at Utah. These teams have
split the last eight in the series.