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NEW ORLEANS -- In another Jazz win that moved Utah's road record to 12-12 on the season, Paul Millsap and Carlos Boozer paired up and dominated the paint as the Jazz slid past the Hornets in a 98-90 win at the New Orleans Arena Wednesday night.
During the first half of Utah's final regular season meeting with the Hornets, the Jazz struggled to find their rhythm and answer a strong attack from New Orleans, but were kept alive by Millsap's aggressive and accurate play.
"We've got a beautiful team. You never know when guys are gonna step up, when they're gonna do their part - but you know it's always gonna come," Millsap said.
In the second half, Boozer awoke from his two-quarter slump and really came alive, taking over in the paint as the defense began to make adjustments to contain Millsap.
"We've got a beautiful team. You never know when guys are gonna step up, when they're gonna do their part - but you know it's always gonna come," Millsap said in a post-game interview on FSN. "It's really good for our team to have that kind of depth."
While Boozer and Millsap have been one of the best starting and backup duos in the league this season, it seems like the Jazz play some of their best basketball when the Duke and Louisiana Tech alumni are on the court together.
"(Our combination is) tough on other teams. Boozer's a great player, he's gonna come to play every night, and if it just so happens that he (doesn't), I'm gonna be there to get his back, and visa versa," Millsap said.
"Boozer's a great player, he's gonna come to play every night, and if it just so happens that he (doesn't), I'm gonna be there to get his back, and visa versa," Millsap said.
While Boozer struggled to find his stride in the first half, Millsap eased the nerves of his team and Jazz fans alike as he posted 16 points, four rebounds and two steals. Then as Boozer got hot in the second half, he still managed to play a solid second at power forward, tallying 24 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks on the night.
"I'm just playing ball. One thing I should have been doing all along is getting out there and just playing," Millsap said. "I was out there thinking a little too much about it, and now I'm just getting out there doing it."
Boozer also got after it late in the game, and tallied eight fourth quarter points to go along with eight fourth quarter rebounds as the Jazz fought to seal back-to-back wins on the road. Boozer ended the night with 16 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
"It's tough with Memo and (Boozer) out there, but if it's Paul's night, then you gotta ride with him," Williams said.
Despite another solid performance of his own, Boozer was quick to give praise to Millsap for keeping his stride and momentum when the rest of the team was grappling to find theirs.
"(Millsap is) unbelievable, hitting shots left and right. He got us back in the game in that second quarter," Boozer said. "He's been amazing since after the break."
As the coaching staff tries to get Millsap as much time as possible behind Boozer and starting center Mehmet Okur, Deron Williams said the Jazz are confident that Millsap will capitalize on whatever time he has to work with.
"When Paul's given a lot of minutes, he's always produced so it's on Coach (Sloan) to find some time for him to get out there," Williams said. "It's tough with Memo and (Boozer) out there, but if it's Paul's night, then you gotta ride with him."