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News » Millsap leads Jazz to 109-87 win over Real Madrid

Millsap leads Jazz to 109-87 win over Real Madrid

Millsap leads Jazz to 109-87 win over Real MadridMADRID (AP) - Paul Millsap made it clear he wasn't on a European vacation.

The Jazz forward bidding for a starting job scored 20 points to lead Utah to a 109-87 victory over Real Madrid on Thursday in the finale of the NBA's preseason European tour.

"That's what I'm trying to do, to push myself to do better this whole year, be more assertive on the offensive end and play my role on the defensive ending," said Millsap, who is battling Carlos Boozer to be Utah's starting power forward. "I was about business on this trip."

Point guard Deron Williams added 16 points at the Palacio de los Deportes stadium as the Jazz rebounded from Tuesday's one-point loss to the Chicago Bulls in London.

"We're athletic, our system definitely helps, (we're) tough to guard. We just had more talent," Williams said.

Millsap followed up an 18-point effort against the Bulls by combining with Alexander Johnson to score 22 points during a second quarter in which the Jazz outscored Real Madrid 33-16.

With Madrid missing pivot men Felipe Reyes and Thomas Van den Spiegel, Millsap dominated in the paint to key an 8-2 run to start the period before Johnson hit back-to-back jumpers to help Utah out to its first double-digit lead.

"They went on that run and that sealed the game," Madrid forward Jorge Garbajosa said.

The Jazz dominated under the basket at both ends - outscoring Madrid 64-26 inside the paint - and kept the Spanish club without a field goal for nearly the last six minutes before the half. Madrid also made nine of its 22 turnovers during that time.

"It wasn't our best effort this evening," said former Michigan player Louis Bullock, who led Madrid with 18 points. "It was fun but obviously we would have liked to have played a little better."

Rookie point guard Eric Maynor hit a 3-pointer to give the Jazz a comfortable 19-point cushion to close the first half, in which Madrid shot 28.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Utah coach Jerry Sloan brought Williams and Boozer back out to start the second half and the Jazz stretched their lead to 28. Boozer finished with 14 points.

Ronnie Brewer's slam with two minutes remaining in the third period put the exclamation point on a night that had started slowly for the jet-lagged Jazz.

The victory put the NBA back on even-footing in Spain after having lost two of its last three matches in the country.

The last time the NBA was in the Spanish capital, in 2007, Madrid beat the Toronto Raptors by a single point. Pau Gasol led the Memphis Grizzlies to victory over Madrid club Estudiantes that year, while the Philadelphia 76ers stumbled at Barcelona in 2006.

Former Portland player Fernando Martin was honored before the start of the second half. Martin - who died in a traffic accident in 1989 - was the first Spanish player to play in the NBA.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 9, 2009


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