Boozer has 21 points, 16 rebounds to help Jazz end six-game skid

Boozer has 21 points, 16 rebounds to help Jazz end six-game skid

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- For the first time in nearly two weeks, Utah forward Carlos Boozer was able to sit on the bench and watch the end of a Jazz game.

He earned it.

Boozer scored 21 points and had 16 rebounds to lead Utah to a 96-75 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday night. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Jazz, who hadn't won since defeating the Miami Heat on Dec. 3.

"It's been a long time," Boozer said. "It was good for us. Me and (Deron Williams) were talking with each other (on the bench) and just said, 'Thank God we got a win.' Thank God we got off that slide. So it feels really good to get that win and hopefully we can ride that momentum and stay positive, like we did tonight, and stay together."

Deron Williams added 18 points and 10 assists for the Jazz. Ronnie Brewer also had 18 points and Andrei Kirilenko scored 16.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 24 points for Seattle, which had won two straight.

Both teams were playing in the second game of back-to-back sets. The Sonics, who played at Minnesota on Friday night, built a 10-point lead in the first quarter and stayed close for three quarters.

"We got the start we wanted, but we played like we were playing our fifth game in seven nights," said Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo. "They had more energy than we did. We played tired."

The Jazz put the game away by holding the Sonics to just one point in the first 3 minutes of the fourth. Kirilenko scored on an alley-oop layup assisted by Williams to give Utah an 85-69 lead with 6:20 remaining.

The Sonics wrapped up a tough five-game road trip at Utah. They actually earned some sympathy from Jazz coach Jerry Sloan for their travel itinerary.

"I know this team was tired," Sloan said. "It's kind of an unfortunate thing for them to have to play five road games, and the last road game is a team in their division. I don't think that's quite fair."

Four players scored in double figures for the Jazz, who shot 49 percent from the field, compared to Seattle, which shot just 33 percent.

The Jazz were without starting center Mehmet Okur for the third straight game. Okur has a strained left trapezius and his status is listed as day-to-day. Jarron Collins started in his place and had four points and two rebounds.

The pressure was on Utah to break its six-game losing streak. The Jazz recovered from a slow start and took control of the game in the second quarter. A three-point play by second-year player Paul Millsap gave Utah a 34-33 lead with 6:45 remaining until halftime, and the Jazz never relinquished the advantage.

"We got that monkey off our back," Boozer said. "That feels really good. Everybody did a great job contributing. Great win for us."

Utah outscored Seattle 31-13 in the second quarter.

"We just didn't get any stops in that second quarter," said Seattle guard Kevin Durant. "I think they outscored us by a lot during that second quarter. We just needed to get stops, point blank."

Notes:@ Backup guard Jason Hart rejoined the Jazz after missing the team's loss to Portland on Friday so that he could attend his maternal grandmother's funeral in the Los Angeles area. He had three points and two assists in 11 minutes of play. ... Seattle C Kurt Thomas sat out of Saturday's game with a sprained right ankle. ... Durant did not score in double figures for just the second time in 25 games. He had six points in 19 minutes.... Jazz F Matt Harpring will miss Utah's game against Atlanta on Monday because he will have a gastric scope exam in Salt Lake City. He is expected to rejoin the team in time for its game at Charlotte on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-12-15-07 2307MST

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