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Jazz 6th man: Kirilenko a good fit

Jazz 6th man: Kirilenko a good fit



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Some things are just better as compliments. Popcorn by itself is okay, but combine it with a movie and its a great snack. Andrei Kirilenko coming off the bench is one of those things for the Jazz.

Five games ago, AK was put back in a familiar role he played last year, providing a spark off the bench. Saturday night, he played that role to perfection.

Playing starter-like minutes, Kirilenko came off the bench, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Jazz over the Detroit Pistons 100-97 in overtime.

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"I thought Andrei had a great game off the bench," Utah Head Coach Jerry Sloan said. "He made some big shots."

One of the big shots Sloan was referring to was a 3-point basket with only a minute left in regulation that put the Jazz up two.

"He has been playing great for us lately, not just this game," Jazz point guard Deron Williams added. "I think bringing him off the bench has resurrected the role he is used to."

His ability to initiate the offense and create plays drew praise from Coach Sloan. "[Andrei] took the ball to the basket, knowing that he would at least get a couple of free throws."


"He has been playing great for us lately, not just this game."

In addition to his double-double, AK added two assists, a steal and a block.

With the win, Utah improves their record to 7-6. The Jazz return to action Tuesday against Oklahoma City.

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