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Boozer lifts Jazz over Trail Blazers



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Mehmut Okur scored 22 points, Carlos Boozer added 20 -- including four in the final 30 seconds -- and the Utah Jazz held off the Portland Trail Blazers 103-96 on Wednesday night to stay undefeated.

Brandon Roy, who had 18 points for Portland, sliced Utah's lead to one at 97-96 on a drive down the lane in the final minute. Andrei Kirilenko found Boozer for a layup with 29.2 seconds left to reclaim the three-point advantage.

Roy quickly drove to the basket again and flipped the ball in the corner to Rudy Fernandez. The Spanish sharpshooter, who scored 14 points, missed off the front rim. Boozer and Paul Millsap each added a pair of free throws for the final margin

Playing without starting point guard Deron Williams, the Jazz turned to journeyman Brevin Knight. The 11-year veteran had only six points and six assists, but steadied the Jazz's offense as Utah came from behind to win its fourth straight game.

In a critical span bridging the third and fourth quarters, Knight had three steals that led to dunks. The last slam by Millsap cut it to 78-76, and Knight gave the Jazz their first lead of the second half, 82-80, on a baseline jumper with 7:26 to play.

Williams has missed all four games this season because of a sprained left ankle. The point guard warmed up on the court before the game and hopes to play on Friday against Oklahoma City.

Jerry Sloan reached 999 victories as Utah's coach, the most ever by a coach with one NBA team. Sloan is the longest tenured coach in professional sports and will look to be the first coach to win 1,000 games with one team.

LaMarcus Aldridge also had 18 points for Portland.

Notes:@ Portland rookie forward Nicolas Batum made his first start, replacing Travis Outlaw in the starting lineup ... Portland's Greg Oden (right foot), Martell Webster (left foot) and Raef LaFrentz (right shoulder) missed the game.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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