Jazz Pull Away Late for 6th Straight

2 02 2010

The Utah Jazz continued their winning ways last night beating the Dallas Mavericks 104-92.  The win was the sixth straight for the Jazz who moved within a half game of the Mavericks for the third spot in the west.  The Jazz have won 10 of out their last 11 games, and seven straight at home. For game highlights, click here.

For most of last night’s game, the Jazz and Mavs went back and forth including ten lead changes and eight ties in the first half alone.  The Jazz held a 53-46 lead at half, but could only manage to take a 77-76 lead into the fourth quarter.  The Jazz pulled down seven offensive rebounds in the fourth to match the Mavericks total fourth quarter rebounds, and slowly crept away for the 12 point victory.

Paul Millsap lead the Jazz with 25 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks, while filling in for Boozer for the second straight game.  Deron Williams added 18 points, 15 assists, and seven rebounds.  Player off the bench last night was C.J. Miles who scored 17.  Andrei Kirilenko, who has come up huge since taking back the starting power forward spot, had another great all-around game scoring 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and four steals.  Kirilenko’s defense in the fourth quarter was huge, getting two big steals down the stretch and holding all-star Dirk Nowitzki to no field goal attempts, and only two of his 28 points.

The Jazz were tough on defense yet again, flying after loose balls and actively going after rebounds especially in the fourth.  When asked about their defense, Nowitzki said “They just stepped up their pressure in the fourth. I couldn’t get any looks, I barely had the ball in my hands.”  Great defense is the key to Jazz victories, and over the past 11 games, it has been tough.

Carlos Boozer, who is recovering from a calf strain, says he hopes to be back on Saturday when the Jazz play host to the Denver Nuggets.  If that is the case, the Jazz will only miss him for one more game, Wednesday night against the Portland Trailblazers.  Both opponents are in the Northwest Division, and the game on Saturday could potentially, with a win, bring the Jazz within two and a half games of the division lead.

Written by: Matthew Flygare
hmhd team
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