Utah 104, L.A. Lakers 78
SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 4 (Ticker) -- Carlos Boozer
made quite an impression
in his debut with the Utah Jazz.
Boozer scored 12 of his 27 points in the first quarter as the
Jazz cruised to a 104-78 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in
their season opener.
Signed by Utah as a free agent in the offseason, Boozer combined
with All-Star Andrei Kirilenko
to score all of the points in a
7-0 spurt to open the game for the Jazz, who never trailed.
Boozer also pulled down 11 rebounds for his first double-double
with Utah after recording 41 with Cleveland last season. The
third-year forward shot 10-of-13 from the floor.
Kirilenko had four of his career-high eight blocked shots in the
first quarter as the Lakers did not score a basket until
made a layup with 5:30 on the clock.
"I think Kirilenko set the tone early with the blocks," Lakers
coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "We made some aggressive moves to
the basket and he erased them and got the momentum going, and
that put us in a sort of frantic mode."
Kirilenko, who finished fifth in Defensive Player of the Year
voting last season, helped the Utah defense hold the Lakers -
sluggish in playing their second game in as many days - to a
franchise-low 29 percent shooting.
"It feels good to have everybody helping each other out, playing
defense," said Kirilenko, who scored 16 points and pulled down
six rebounds. "I think we won the game tonight because our team
defense was so good."
Utah led, 45-28, at halftime and pushed the lead to 25 points in
the third period before Kobe Bryant
took things into his own
hands, scoring 27 of his 38 points after halftime.
was the only other Laker in double figures with 14.
In Tuesday's 89-78 victory over Denver, Los Angeles had four
players reach that plateau.
"(Kobe) did it all tonight," Tomjanovich said. "I thought Lamar
got things going there a little bit, but we just couldn't find
other guys to make shots here and there. Role players have got
to make some shots, too."
Bryant's jumper with 6:03 remaining pulled Los Angeles within
77-64, but Matt Harpring
scored 14 of his 23 points down the
stretch as the Jazz pulled away.
"(Boozer and Harpring) played well tonight," Jazz coach Jerry
Sloan said. "They got some baskets and were able to finish
around the basket. That's what we have to do. Both of those
guys can get around the basket and score."
Bryant, who dished out seven assists against Denver on Tuesday,
had just one against Utah. T he Lakers had just seven, also a
franchise low, while Jazz point guard Keith McLeod
, who was
starting for the injured Carlos Arroyo
, had eight.
"When we did move the ball to the open guy tonight, we just
didn't make our open shots," Tomjanovich said.
Making his first career start with Arroyo nursing a
sprained left ankle, McLeod turned the ball over just once in 29