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News » Jazz share in win over Bulls

Jazz share in win over Bulls

Jazz share in win over Bulls On Thanksgiving night, they shared. The Basketball. The buckets. Even the gravy. The Jazz rolled by Chicago 105-86 Thursday in their first-ever Turkey Day game in Utah, getting a season-high 28 points with 12-for-14 field shooting from power forward Carlos Boozer on a night many enjoyed a piece of the action.

Deron Williams added 21 points, Ronnie Brewer 15, Mehmet Okur 14 and Paul Millsap 12. "That was a totally different team that we were tonight," said coach Jerry Sloan, whose Jazz had a disappointing loss Tuesday to Oklahoma City. "We were a lot more alive, a lot more aggressive than what we were the other night. ... Everybody out there had a pretty good showing." No one, though, offered more than Boozer, the subject of offseason trade talk involving the Bulls and other teams. The two-time NBA All-Star also had eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks in 35 minutes. "I'm in a great groove, having a good time out there," Boozer said. "My teammates are trying to find me, and I'm just trying to put the ball in the hole and get us a win. "I'm having a blast, man." Even after Thursday, though, Boozer wouldn't quite concede he's happy he remained in Utah. "I'm happy regardless," he said when asked. "I told you guys, man: If they keep us together, we can be really good." Sloan, for his part, seems pleased Boozer stayed. "Carlos has been great all along," he said. "People thought when he got hurt (in previous seasons) he wasn't making money, but it was one of those things. The doctors told him not to play. He didn't do anything that was illegal or anything. "I've always had a good relationship trying to coach him," Sloan added. "When he came back (this season) he was fine and said, 'I'll do the best I can to play.' And I think he's played some of his best Basketball since he got through the start of the season. He's playing like he's capable." Boozer sat for all but three minutes in the fourth, a period in which Utah led by as many as 25. Williams also sat most of the fourth, but still delivered six of the Jazz's 29 assists. "We had a lot more energy, a lot more life," he said. It was the fourth win in five outings for the 8-7 Jazz , who continue a six-game homestand Saturday vs. Portland. It also ended Utah's three-game losing streak to the 6-8 Bulls, who are 1-4 ? with four straight losses ? on an annual trip that takes them away from Chicago for great lengths because the circus is in town. Thursday's late-starting TNT-televised game at EnergySolutions Arena had things happening in multiple rings, from Boozer's play down low on the offensive end to decent defense from most on the other. Forward Andrei Kirilenko used his second-quarter rejection of a Joakim Noah shot move into a tie with Greg Ostertag (1,253) for second place behind Mark Eaton (3,064) on the Jazz's all-time blocks list. That also helped protect a double-digit lead Utah maintained throughout the game's final 34 minutes. The Jazz led by as many as 17 a few times in the second quarter, once when Boozer rebounded a Brewer miss. Mostly, though, it was precision passing that helped Utah build a comfy lead, like Boozer's feed to Millsap for one basket and Kirilenko's zip-line delivery to Brewer for a reverse dunk a few possessions later. It was Boozer passing and Brewer dunking again when the Jazz scored their final basket of the first half, giving them a 57-40 lead and tying their highest halftime advantage this season. NOTES: Boozer's streak of consecutive free throws made ended in the second quarter at 20. ... Jazz backup center Kyrylo Fesenko didn't play Thursday night. Both Fesenko and combo guard Ronnie Price, already out with a sprained toe, stayed home tonight because of the stomach virus. Okur missed three games last week because of a stomach bug. ... With Fesenko out, Utah was back ? for the sixth time in seven games ? to just nine healthy players available. ... Chicago's absentees Thursday included Tyrus Thomas (fractured left wrist) Kirk Hinrich (sprained left thumb). e-mail:

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Added: November 28, 2009


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