Okur Lifts Jazz Past Shorthanded Warriors
Utah 91, Golden State 85
OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 4 (Ticker) -- Mehmet Okur is doing his best to erase the memory of last season for the Utah Jazz.
Okur scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and added 14 rebounds as the Jazz posted a 91-85 triumph over the Golden State Warriors, who were without starting point guard Baron Davis.
"I'm feeling good, I'm excited right now," Okur said. "The season is still rolling and we know what we did wrong last season. We had a great experience from last year and we started the same way last year. We won like (eight road) games so we just want to go out there, play hard and play as a team and have fun. So far so good."
"We've been lucky," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who passed Bill Fitch for fifth on the NBA's all-time wins list with 945 regular-season victories. "We caught Dallas the other night and they had played the night before in a tough game and (the Warriors) have a player out. But hopefully with our team, we've got to try to learn how to win and it doesn't matter what the circumstances are."
Okur scored 27 points in Wednesday's season-opening victory over Dallas. He got off to a slow start Friday when he netted just four points on 2-of-7 shooting in the first half. However, that changed in the third quarter.
"I don't know what happened first half," Okur said. "I think a few shots, I was wide open and I couldn't make it but I don't know why. My second half ... I made it. I have no idea (what changed), maybe I was rushed in the first half to shoot the ball."
"He's played pretty well all year during the exhibition season," Sloan said. "He's had a pretty good training camp. A year ago, he wasn't in real good shape to play basketball. This year he got in better shape and he has some skills because he can shoot and he can rebound. You can't do that when you're not in good shape."
With the Warriors ahead, 48-46, Okur scored 11 points as the Jazz went on a 24-10 spurt over the final 7:44 of the third period and never trailed thereafter.
Davis was sidelined with a left hamstring strain, which he suffered in Golden State's season-opening win against Atlanta on Wednesday.
Without the two-time All-Star quarterbacking the offense, the Warriors struggled to make baskets. They shot just 37 percent (27-of-78) from the field and 58 percent (22-of-38) at the line.
"Disappointing," Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said. "I thought this was a team that, if we did things we're capable of, we could have gotten a win. But give Utah credit, they've been doing this for years. They come in and play hard every night out."
Jason Richardson and Derek Fisher, who started for Davis, scored 18 points apiece for Golden State, which was seeking its first 2-0 start in 11 years.
"Tonight was a winnable game and we can't win every game in the NBA, but we can't come out and play like the way we did tonight," Richardson said. "We didn't defend, we didn't rebound, we didn't hustle, so we've got to just go out there and play hard."
The team conducted a closed-door meeting after the game in which shouting could be heard outside the locker room.
"Not anything that hasn't been said before," said Fisher, when asked about what was said at the meeting. "What tonight after the game was about was don't look outside of this locker room for reasons why we lost this game. We control what happens on nights when the ball is not going in. You gut it out and figure out a way to win, I don't care if the score is 50-48. You figure out a way to win the game, it's what you have to do."