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SALT LAKE CITY -- Two consecutive losses was apparently enough for Utah, and with Washington stopping by to pay the West's No. 4 team a visit, the Jazz found an outlet for all the frustration they'd felt in their last two games, running the Wizards out of EnergySolutions Arena with a 112-89 win.
"It was certainly a great comeback after the two losses we had," said head coach Jerry Sloan. "I didn't know what kind of energy we were going to have. We played five games in seven days, and it was good to see our energy level real high."
Washington was able to hang with the Jazz throughout the first quarter, despite receiving points from only three men, but were dealt a wave of disappointment and doubt in the second quarter as Utah extended their lead to 14 before the break.
"We just took off. We did a good job defensively, clamped down a little bit, got some rebounds, did a good job of getting in the (fast) break," Carlos Boozer said. "We tried to push them a little in transition, push the ball up and make them make some plays defensively. We did a good job putting the ball in the hole."
If Utah's halftime advantage hadn't been disparaging enough for the Wizards, their third quarter lead certainly was.
Digging in even deeper after the break, the Jazz outscored the Wizards 31-15 in the third and racked up an advantage as large as 34 before ending the quarter up 90-60.
"We came off two losses we thought we could have won - and we didn't lose our focus, didn't lose our hunger," Boozer said.
"That third quarter, we broke it open even more, and after that, it was history," Boozer said. "We came off two losses we thought we could have won�and we didn't lose our focus, didn't lose our hunger."
Washington made an attempt at a run early in the fourth quarter, but even with just one Jazz starter on the hardwood to fight them off, they were unable to shake Utah's steady confidence.
With an enormous advantage over their visiting opponent, Deron Williams easily found his way to a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists, and as he took control of the back court, Boozer dominated the paint, racking up 23 points and nine rebounds in just 27 minutes on the floor. Boozer said that with Mehmet Okur back in Utah's starting lineup, the Jazz had the ability to spread their offense that they had been missing in their previous game.
"(Okur) opens the floor up so much. He keeps that other big man outside the paint, and let's me get the chance to go in there and work a little bit more. It's great to have him back," Boozer said.
After their tiring five-game stretch that included two back-to-back sets, the Jazz will have a day to rest before playing another game at home Wednesday night.