Jazz 104, Trail Blazers 90


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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Carlos Boozer took Thursday's exhibition game seriously. He wanted to be in the game down the stretch.

"It was good to be back in there in the fourth," said Boozer, who scored nine of his 23 points in the final quarter to lead the Utah Jazz over the Portland Trail Blazers 104-90 in an exhibition game Thursday night.

"I wanted to be a presence on the offensive and defensive end and establish myself. We did a good job in the fourth quarter to get the win," Boozer said.

Andrei Kirilenko added 15 for the Jazz, who had to turn back a Blazer rally in the fourth quarter.

Kirilenko, who missed the last two games because of a sore lower back, also had six blocks, seven rebounds and six assists for the Jazz (2-2).

"I wanted to be active. Im getting back in game shape and my back feels very good now. No pain," Kirilenko said.

Utah coach Jerry Slaon was happy to see the return of the Russian forwards hustle.

"He is very important to us and everybody knows that. He was alive and we played him like we plan to play him in the regular season," Sloan said.

Zack Randolph scored 17 points and Brandon Roy and Ime Udoka each had 16 points for the Trail Blazers (0-3).

Udoka, in his first preseason action with Portland, played after his father passed away suddenly earlier this week.

"Things happen and you just got to keep on moving on and play through it. Obviously I wanted to come out and play well, not only for the opportunity to make this team, but for my father," Udoka said.

Zendon Hamilton, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds, made a layup to cut the Jazz's lead to 81-78, but Brian Chase hit two 3-pointers in a 12-3 run. When Portland cut the lead to six late in the game, the Jazz tightened their defense and Boozer took over inside to help Utah pull away.

"All I wanted was a win and thats what we got so Im happy," Boozer said.

After shooting 3-of-19 in exhibitions this year, Mehmet Okur made 6-of-10 and scored 13 points.

"Thats why we play preseason games. We can fix whats going wrong. I felt good tonight out there and I never really worry about my shot," Okur said.

Utah's Derek Fisher missed his second game in a row because of a severely bruised pelvis, while Portland's Joel Przybilla left the game in the first quarter to get stitches in his chin. He returned in the second quarter.

Four Portland players missed the game due to injury: Raef LaFrentz (left soleus muscle), LaMarcus Aldridge (right shoulder), Darius Miles (right knee), and Martell Webster (sore back).

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-10-19-06 2232MDT

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