AK out 2 weeks; Boozer game-time decision for Jazz

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Jazz say Carlos Boozer will be a game-time decision in Saturday's playoff opener at Denver.

Boozer has a strained muscle in his rib cage and did not play Wednesday when the Jazz closed out the regular season with a loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Coach Jerry Sloan said before practice Friday that the Jazz hoped Boozer would be ready to play in Denver, but his status is still uncertain.

Boozer sat out practice to get treatment and was to travel with the team later Friday.

"I can't react. I mean, what am I gonna do? Go jump and hit my head against the wall?" Sloan said. "We have to plan on him being there. From the conversations we've had with [Boozer], he'll be there. But in the event he's not, we're still gonna play.

The Jazz say forward Andrei Kirilenko is out for two weeks after aggravating his strained left calf during a workout Thursday. An MRI showed a third strain in his calf, which has kept Kirilenko out most of the last month.

"He was devastated, but that's part of this business," Sloan said.

"We want to have a team at full strength, but what can you do about injuries?" point guard Deron Williams said. "You can't make a guy play if they're hurt, you know? They need to sit out and take care of themselves."

By then, it may be too late. The Jazz won just one of their four meetings against with the Nuggets, losing both games played in Denver.

With Boozer and Kirilenko on the bench during Wednesday's loss to the Suns, the Jazz lost a chance for home court advantage in the first round. Instead, they'll start on the road, where they were just 21-20 this year.

"When you're at the two or three seed -- which we were at a week ago -- and you end up at the five, that momentum that you want is not necessarily there, for sure. That's something that we've gotta get back," said forward-guard Kyle Korver.

Mehmet Okur is also nursing a strained Achilles tendon, but he will play Saturday night.


Story compiled with contributions from Kathy Aiken and The Associated Press.

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