Jazz can’t afford to relax
(Sports Network) – Even though Utah is in first place in the Northwest
Division, it cannot afford a letdown. The Jazz (33-17) own a 7 1/2 game lead
over the second place Denver Nuggets, who will be primed to make a run after
the All-Star break.
The Jazz are 2-0 against Denver this season. The Nuggets are scheduled to host
the Jazz on February 23rd at the Pepsi Center, while Utah will welcome Denver
to EnergySolutions Arena on April 11th in the final meeting of the campaign
between the clubs.
All-Star forward Carlos Boozer is sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a
hairline fracture in his left leg. Boozer, who was injured on January
27th against the Hornets, leads the Jazz in scoring (22.1 ppg) and
rebounding (11.8 rpg). He has recorded 33 double-doubles and has scored in
double-digits in 41 times this season.
A pair of teams with winning streaks meet on Monday, as the Jazz welcome the
Atlanta Hawks to EnergySolutions Arena. Atlanta has lost 12 straight at Utah.
The last time the Hawks won on the road against the Jazz was on February 13,
It is the second and final meeting of the season between the Jazz and Hawks.
On December 20th, Okur posted 30 points and 10 rebounds as the Northwest
Division-leading Jazz rallied to beat the Hawks, 112-106, at Philips Arena.
Utah has won the last eight encounters with the Hawks.
Utah, which plays the third of a four-game homestand against Atlanta, has won
four in a row overall. Derek Fisher’s lay-in with 3.6 seconds left in overtime
lifted the Jazz over the New York Knicks, 104-102, in front of their fans on
Mehmet Okur ended with 29 points in the win over New York for the Jazz, who
overcame a 10-point deficit and have won nine of their last 12 games overall.
Paul Millsap added 18 points and nine rebounds for Utah, which ended a five-
game slide to the Knicks and avenged an overtime loss in New York earlier this
The Jazz are 19-6 at home this season. They are scheduled to host LeBron James
and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. The Cavaliers are scheduled to host
the Jazz on March 17th at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland has won three
straight after losing its last 13 at Utah.
Utah has scored 100 or more points in three straight and 13 of its last 16