Boozer, Williams lead Jazz past Bobcats 110-102

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Deron Williams had 23 points and 10 assists, Carlos Boozer added 22 points and 11 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz bounced back from a miserable performance a night earlier to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 110-102 on Saturday.

Boozer and Williams combined for eight points and as many turnovers on 3-of-15 shooting before being benched in the third quarter with the rest of Utah's starters in a blowout loss at Atlanta. It prompted Williams to apologize to Utah fans.

Williams came back energized, constantly beating Charlotte in transition, while Boozer dominated the inside as the Bobcats faded early in the fourth quarter.

Gerald Wallace had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Stephen Jackson added 18 points for the Bobcats, who have dropped two straight.

The matchup of veteran coaches with a combined 2,437 professional wins seemed to tilt in Larry Brown's favor coming in. The Bobcats were 9-3 at home and off since Wednesday's loss in Indiana.

But Jerry Sloan's bunch was angry -- and the Jazz weren't nearly as tired as expected after Sloan's mass benching. Sloan didn't even bother looking at the tape of Friday's debacle against the Hawks, where the Jazz trailed by as many as 32 points. Boozer played only 24 minutes against the Hawks, and Williams 21.

"If you think backwards, you're probably going to play backwards," Sloan said before tipoff.

Utah shot well early, building a 50-41 lead late in the second quarter. It was a familiar early deficit for the Bobcats, who rallied to beat New York on Tuesday and saw a late comeback stall a night later in Indiana.

The Jazz led 52-47 at halftime, while the crowd was still buzzing from Wallace's spectacular block late in the first quarter. With Ronnie Brewer going in for a fastbreak dunk, Wallace came in from behind and swatted the attempt into the stands.

But Charlotte's biggest flaw, Wallace's teammates on the front line, was too much to overcome.

Tyson Chandler's woes since being acquired from New Orleans for Emeka Okafor last summer continued. He missed an open dunk early in the fourth quarter with Utah leading 85-75.

Soon Utah was off on a game-clinching run, with Paul Millsap's 3-pointer with 6:53 left pushing the lead to 98-79.

Chandler was held without a field goal, finishing with two points and five rebounds. Power forward Boris Diaw didn't score after the first quarter, and Charlotte wasted a big night from Wallace with a poor defensive effort.

The Jazz shot 53 percent, but did get some bad news. A night after playing a season-high 15 minutes in his third game back from left knee surgery, swingman Kyle Korver felt discomfort and was limited to two scoreless first-half minutes.

NOTES: Brown thinks the NBA should keep only one list for coaching victories, not an NBA-only list and another with combined NBA and ABA victories. The first list excludes Brown's 229 ABA wins before the merger. "That's so bogus I always laugh about that. Does that mean you were invisible all those years?" Brown said before the game. "That's the biggest joke." The NBA Guide shows both lists. ... Boozer's parents and former NBA player Wes Matthews, father of Utah's Wesley, sat behind the Utah bench. ... Referee Dick Bavetta whistled Bobcats G Raymond Felton for a second-quarter technical foul.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Mike Cranston sports writer


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