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News » Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-04-09

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-04-09

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2008-04-09
The Jazz couldn't have asked for two bigger victories in the final two weeks of the regular season -- over the defending champion Spurs at home Friday and the conference-leading Hornets on the road Tuesday.

It was enough for the Jazz to clinch a playoff berth and capture their second consecutive Northwest Division title. Now the Jazz will look to continue their push for home-court advantage Thursday at Dallas.

After Tuesday, the Jazz are a half-game within Houston and Phoenix in fifth and sixth place, respectively, and trail the third-place L.A. Lakers by just a game. With a victory Thursday, the Jazz also could claim the season series from the Mavericks.

Deron Williams brought up last month's loss at New Jersey after a road victory over Boston as a cautionary tale. The Jazz would like to avoid a similar fate against Dallas after beating the Hornets.

"We can't afford any slip-ups," Williams said. "We've got to really focus on Dallas next game and go in there and do the same thing we did (Tuesday night), play great defense, help each other out, execute on offense."

The Jazz lost 125-117 the last time they played in Dallas on Dec. 8, a game in which Williams finished with a career-high 41 points. Josh Howard led the Mavericks with 47 as Dallas had four players each score at least 15 points.

JAZZ 77, HORNETS 66: The Jazz shut down Hornets guard Chris Paul, who finished with just four points on 2-of-11 shooting, and snapped New Orleans' 11-game home winning streak Tuesday. In the process, the Jazz became the only team to beat the Hornets three times this season.

It was the second-fewest points Paul has scored all season and was more than 17 points below his season average. In his two previous games, Paul had posted a triple-double against Golden State and finished with 33 points and 15 assists against New York.

Even with Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer combining for just 14 points, the Jazz got 22 points and 17 rebounds from Mehmet Okur plus 10 points each from Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap and Boozer.

The Jazz outscored the Hornets 15-2 and 10-0 to end the third quarter. In the last 40 seconds, Millsap had a tip-in, Ronnie Price hit a 21-footer and Millsap stole the subsequent inbounds pass for a layup.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 9, 2008


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