Mehmet Okur scored 23 points, Deron Williams had a season-high 20 assists and the Utah Jazz won their eighth straight, beating the voluntarily short-handed Golden State Warriors 112-104 Sunday night.
Ronnie Brewer scored 21 points one night after getting a
career-high 26 for the Jazz, who moved within two games of
Northwest Division-leading Denver. Utah hasn't lost since receiving
a 20-point thrashing from the Warriors in Oakland three weeks ago.
Corey Maggette scored 27 points and rookie Anthony Randolph had
a career-high 20 for the Warriors, who rested leading scorer
Stephen Jackson as part of coach Don Nelson's unorthodox plan to
give more playing time to his youngsters. Golden State also is
resting Monta Ellis' surgically repaired left ankle for at least
two weeks as a precaution.
Jamal Crawford, who wasn't allowed to play in Golden State's
loss to Charlotte two nights earlier, scored 20 points in the
Warriors' fourth loss in five games.
Utah took the lead late in the third quarter on a layup by
Carlos Boozer, who managed just 10 points and nine rebounds. The
Jazz made up for it with five other players in double figures,
including 17 apiece from Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap.
Okur led Utah in scoring for the fifth time in six games despite
sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Williams scored just six points, but had 16 assists in the first
three quarters alone, matching his season high and equaling the
entire Golden State roster. Utah won without making a field goal in
the final 3:06, holding the high-scoring Warriors to five points in
the final 6:15.
Jackson averaged 27.3 points per game during an outstanding
February, but the captain and emotional leader watched the game in
street clothes. Two days after resting Crawford in similarly
curious fashion, Nelson started Randolph in Jackson's place.
Randolph, the 14th overall pick from LSU, has shown flashes of
impressive play all season, and he shined with extended playing
time against Utah. In an electric stretch of the third quarter,
Randolph blocked a layup attempt by Williams, grabbed an offensive
rebound in traffic to earn two free throws, and threw down an
alley-oop from Kelenna Azubuike for a rim-bending dunk to surpass
his previous career high.
Randolph made seven of his first eight shots, including a
dramatic tip-in at a full sprint later in the third period.
Okur scored 17 points, with three 3-pointers, in the first
quarter, mostly against Randolph's pitiable perimeter defense. Okur
also hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer, putting the Jazz up
Randolph blocked a dunk attempt by Boozer in the first
quarter, but replays showed Randolph stuck his hand up through the
hoop to do it. Not even Boozer knew it at the time, however.
Utah outscored Golden State 19-0 on points off turnovers in the
Ellis also sat out his third straight game with stiffness in his ankle, injured in an offseason accident on a motorized scooter.
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