Bucks beat Jazz 90-81 in Utah's first preseason game

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- In a game where a coveted center and a discontented forward both showed why they are valuable, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 90-81 Wednesday.

Milwaukee Bucks lottery-pick center Yi Jianlian scored 12 points a night after he fouled out of the teams preseason opener.

Utah forward Andrei Kirilenko, who has talked of wanting to be traded, scored 10 points and demonstrated his defensive skills.

Wednesdays win makes Milwaukee, one of the NBAs worst teams last season, 2-0 to begin the preseason with both wins coming against last year's playoff teams. It was Utahs preseason opener.

Jianlian had an inauspicious NBA preseason debut Tuesday in a win over Chicago. Yi fouled out in 16 minutes of play in that game.

He did a better job Wednesday. Yi committed only four fouls in 26 minutes. His 12 points included a three-point basket and 3-for-4 shooting from the foul line. Yi made four of 11 field-goal attempts.

"I feel better compared with the first game," Jianlian said through a translator. "The whole team is good. We did good defense. We really enjoyed the defense."

Milwaukee forced 21 Utah turnovers while committing only 13.

Jianlian came off the bench in the second quarter to help keep the Bucks close to the then-leading Utah.

Milwaukee took the lead midway through the third quarter. The Bucks pulled away by outscoring Utah 18-9 in the final quarter.

Kirilenko last month wrote on a Russian blog he wanted to be traded from Utah. During introductions, fans gave him a mix of boos and cheers.

But they cheered every time Kirilenko scored or blocked a shot, including a first-quarter block which started a successful Jazz fast break.

Kirilenko blocked four shots and made eight rebounds in 24 minutes.

"All the fans, theyve been supportive of me all the time," Kirilenko.

Both teams played starters for most of the first quarter and then began inserting reserves. The Jazz starters returned for the third quarter while Milwaukee played a mixed lineup of starters and reserves for most of the second half.

Milwaukee guard Michael Redd scored 17 points.

Ronnie Brewer, who is in competition to be Utahs shooting guard, scored 17 points to lead Utah.

Utahs point guard, Deron Williams, scored eight points and had six assists in 22 minutes of play.

Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut scored 10 and gained seven rebounds. He played college ball in Salt Lake City for the University of Utah.

Utah played without forward Carlos Boozer. He is away from the team while his son undergoes treatment for sickle-cell anemia. Reserve forward Matt Harpring is recuperating from knee and ankle surgery and did not play.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-10-10-07 2237MDT

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