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News » Jazz show no need for to hit panic button yet

Jazz show no need for to hit panic button yet

Jazz show no need for to hit panic button yet Even after a 1-3 start that included devastating losses Monday night to Houston and Tuesday night at Dallas, the Jazz weren't quite ready to reach for something red and round. "It's too early for panic," center Mehmet Okur said after Thursday's morning shootaround. Turned out he was right and ? by the time Utah was done beating San Antonio 113-99 in a late-starting, TNT-televised game Thursday night at EnergySolutions Arena ?

it might have been more appropriate for the Jazz to be pressing the easy button. Because they sure did have their way with a 2-2 Spurs team featuring not only mainstays Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, but also new addition Richard Jefferson. "That was a good win for us," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We let a game get away the other night, and it looked like the end of the season for a lot of people the way they were talking about it. "But," he added, "I thought our guys would come back and play and I was proud of them the way they played." Two-time NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer led the Jazz ? who committed just 11 turnovers ? with a 27-point, 14-rebound double-double, and point guard Deron Williams matched Boozer for game-high honors with 27 of his own. Williams also dished nine assists, and finished one dime and three boards shy of a triple-double. All five Jazz starters scored in double figures, as did rookie Wesley Matthews (a career-high 12) off the bench. "I thought everybody was involved in trying to help each other and trying to do the right thing to have a chance to win," Sloan said. The now 2-3 Jazz avoided matching (from 2001 and 2002) their worst start since opening 1-5 in 1982. The Jazz ? playing their third game in four nights, while San Antonio was playing on four nights' rest ? also snapped a four-game losing streak to the Spurs, who had won 29 of their previous 35 meetings with Sloan's club. Moreover, Thursday marked the first time in more than 10 years ? since Feb. 28, 1999 ? that Utah has scored 100-plus points in a victory over San Antonio. "Fortunately we had a big first half and we carried it right into the third quarter and played pretty well for most of the game," Sloan said. Utah led by as many as 15 in the second quarter when Boozer ? who had eight rebounds and 13 points with 6-for-12 field shooting at halftime ? put in a Matthews miss to make it 42-27 with eight minutes and 15 seconds left in the period. The Jazz were up 60-50 at halftime, hitting the 60-point plateau in the first half for the second time this season after doing it just 10 times last season. They extended that lead to 93-80 with a third quarter in which Williams had 14 points while scored 10 and pulled down another five boards. That duo combined for 46 points ? 23 each ? through three periods. But after getting outscored by seven or more during the fourth quarter in each of their first three losses this season ? including by 14 against Houston and by 26 after leading by 15 in Dallas ? even a seemingly comfy double-digit advantage heading into the final 12 minutes hardly seemed safe. This time, though, there would be no late-game meltdown. The Jazz outscored the Spurs 20-19 in the fourth, a quarter in which Utah had just three turnovers and San Antonio shot only 39.1 percent from the bench. Utah maintained its double-digit advantage throughout the final period, and was up by as many as 18 at 109-91 after Boozer hit two free throws with 2:36 remaining. "Tonight we came back," Boozer said. "Everybody had a great effort. ... That's why we won the game." NOTES: Williams had to ice down his left shin after the first quarter. He returned in the second with a sleeve on his lower leg. ... This was the second of 15 8:30 p.m. (mountain time zone) starts for the Jazz , who coincidentally have no day games scheduled this season. Actual tip time, though, was 8:51 p.m. ... The Jazz are now 1-1 on national cable TV this season, 0-1 on ESPN and 1-0 on TNT. ... Thirty-eight of the Jazz's 60 first-half points came from inside the paint, and they outscored San Antonio 64-46 overall. e-mail:

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Added: November 7, 2009


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