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News » Utah Jazz throw back Pacers for win

Utah Jazz throw back Pacers for win

Utah Jazz throw back Pacers for win If their throwback green uniforms weren't enough to confuse the Indiana Pacers, Carlos Boozer was. Boozer scored a season-high 35 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds Friday night to lead Utah past the Pacers 96-87 at EnergySolutions Arena, giving the Jazz their fourth straight win and seventh in the last eight games. It was the 12th double-double of the season for Boozer, who has scored more than 20 points in six straight games and nine of his last 10. "My teammates are confident in me," the two-time NBA All-Star power forward said. "I'm just doing what they present me with," added Boozer, who had 12 of his points and seven of his boards in the first quarter alone.

"It's not about me, though. It's about our team. We're doing a great job of sharing the ball, we're getting good stops on the defensive end." The 11-7 Jazz certainly needed a few stops in the fourth quarter, when Indiana ? which never led ? twice cut what had been an early 19-point Utah advantage of 22-3 to four. But coach Jerry Sloan's club ? which also got a 13-assist, 11-point double-double from point guard Deron Williams, a 12-rebound and 11-point double-double off the bench from forward Paul Millsap and a season-high 18 points from rookie Wesley Matthews ? buckled down when it had to. The Jazz got some separation after a Mike Dunleavy layup made it 84-80 with just under six minutes to go. The 6-11 Pacers also had Utah's lead back down to five following a T.J. Ford layup with 1:54 left, but Williams ? who dished five of his assists in the first quarter ? answered with a 20-foot jumper and that was that. "We knew they were going to make a run, and we knew they were going to get out and push the ball and shoot themselves back into the game," Millsap said. "When they do that, you have to stand strong as a team, run your offense and play good defense." The Jazz did all that, averting what could have been disaster and allowing themselves to end a season-long six game homestand at 5-1. "I've seen that happen a few times ? you think the game's gonna be easy, and the team you're playing comes right back," Sloan said. Even one like Indiana, which has lost four straight and 7 of 8. "They fought back and came back and made us fight for the win, but we did a good job of fighting for the win ? and won a big game for us," Boozer said. "Sometimes you go through a team making a run on you and you lose a little bit of your confidence," he added. "We didn't tonight." Boozer's personal poise was sky-high early on Friday, a happenstance made only easier because he was playing what Sloan called "simple Basketball." "How many times did he slash to the basket and somebody gave him a layup?" the Jazz coach asked. "I mean, you can stand out on the perimeter all day and look for jump shots ? but there's a lot of openings there," added Sloan, whose team visits two-win Minnesota tonight. "That's what Wes (Matthews) does. He has a tendency to flash to the basket to get a chance to get something going, and Booz ? I mean, that's just playing Basketball." Boozer, though, downplayed the suggestion that he was making a more concerted effort to cut. "I make a conscious effort to take what's there," he said. "For me," Boozer added, "if I've got a lane I'm gonna go take it; if I've got a post-up, I'm gonna try to get it; if I've got a jump shot, I'm gonna take it." And the Jazz , their collective confidence on the rise as well, are going to take their victories however they come. "Our team can compete in this league," Millsap said. "If we're on top of our game, we can beat anybody." NOTES: C.J. Miles returned after missing the season's first 17 games after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his shooting-hand thumb, and fellow Jazz small forward Andrei Kirilenko returned after missing one game due to muscle tightness in his back. Both logged less than 15 minutes. ... Starting small forward Ronnie Brewer shot just 1-for-9 from the field, but his season-high six steals ? all in the first half ? were just one off his 2008 career high. ... Williams' double-double was his sixth of the season, and Millsap's was his second. e-mail:

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Added: December 6, 2009


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