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Jazz Snatch Season Opener From Warriors on Road

Jazz Snatch Season Opener From Warriors on Road



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Carlos Boozer had 32 points and 15 rebounds, Deron Williams added 24 points and the Utah Jazz jumped right back into last season's playoff form with a 117-96 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

Ronnie Brewer scored 18 points and Paul Millsap added 16 for the Jazz, who reached the Western Conference finals last spring with a five-game victory over Golden State in the second round, ending the eighth-seeded Warriors' unlikely playoff run.

Five months later in both clubs' season opener, the Jazz still had too many of the qualities lacked by the flashy Warriors, whose raucous sellout crowd was quieted well before the final buzzer.

Led by Boozer's relentless inside game, Utah scored in the paint, outrebounded the Warriors 56-37 and constantly capitalized on Golden State's mistakes. The Jazz led through most of the final three quarters, then coolly turned back Baron Davis' attempts to start a fourth-quarter rally.

Davis had 25 points and 10 assists for the Warriors, who ended a 13-year playoff drought and upset the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks last season before bowing out to the Jazz. Mickael Pietrus and Monta Ellis scored 17 points apiece.

Golden State's hopes for another winning season are tempered by a nasty early schedule. Coach Don Nelson knows the Warriors could be in for a slow start without suspended swingman Stephen Jackson during a seven-game opening stretch that features five opponents who won at least 50 games last season.

Jackson will be suspended until the Warriors' trip to Toronto on Nov. 18 for the start of a five-game road trip. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of criminal recklessness after firing a gun into the air outside an Indianapolis strip club.

Kelenna Azubuike started in Jackson's spot, scoring 11 points.

Brewer, Utah's first-round pick in 2006, made a strong debut in his new job as the Jazz's starting shooting guard. He scored eight points in the third quarter as Utah repelled Golden State's final serious rally.

But as usual, the Jazz relied on Boozer and Williams, who recently were named permanent team captains by coach Jerry Sloan. Williams played tough defense on Davis and showed John Stockton-style tenacity with the ball, crashing to the court with regularity while recording eight assists.

Boozer scored 18 points in the first half, and the Jazz ran off 10 straight points to start an 18-2 run early in the second quarter. Golden State trimmed the lead to six points early in the third, but Utah made a 17-7 run led by Boozer and Brewer.

Game notes

Oracle Arena swayed for 10 seconds during a 5.6 earthquake centered in nearby San Jose, but most fans didn't seem to notice. ... Utah G Matt Harpring played eight minutes despite an ankle injury, scoring one point. ... Warriors rookie Marco Belinelli had six points in his NBA debut. Brandan Wright, the eighth overall pick acquired by Golden State in a trade that sent longtime Warriors G Jason Richardson to Charlotte, began the season on the inactive list -- and Nelson doesn't expect him to get off it any time soon. ... The clubs meet again Saturday night in Utah. The Jazz won't visit Oakland again this season. ... The Warriors are 7-15 when opening their season at home over the last 45 years.

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