Jazz Look for Win No. 6 Against Bucks
Posted Nov 11 2006 10:10AM
The Utah Jazz have figured it out - score 100 points and a victory seems likely.
The Jazz will try to reach the century mark - and more importantly, win - once again as they conclude a three-game trip with a visit to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
Utah opened the season with four wins in a row, scoring more than 100 points in every game. The Jazz finally lost 96-89 to New Jersey on Wednesday in the opener of the road trip, shooting a season-low 42 percent.
Utah (5-1) bounced back to beat Boston 107-100 on Friday night, shooting 53 percent from the field and improving to 5-0 when scoring at least 100 points.
Last year, it took 12 games for the Jazz to record five wins. Utah averaged 92.4 points in 2005-06, the fifth-worst average in the league, and the team scored 100 points only twice in its first 27 games.
With their newfound offense, the Jazz own the league's best record. A win on Saturday would give them their second 6-1 start in three seasons. After starting 6-1 in 2004-05, however, Utah lost 55 of its final 75 games to finish with its worst record in 23 years.
``Knock on wood, we don't have any major injuries,'' said forward Carlos Boozer, who was the Western Conference's player of the week. ``We're a deeper team than I've ever had since I've been here. We're all young, but some of us are coming into our primes right now. We're excited for the ride we're on right now.''
Deron Williams had 26 points and 14 assists, Boozer had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Mehmet Okur added 23 points to help Utah beat Boston for the first time in nearly three years.
``We just got hot at the right time,'' said Williams, who is averaging 15.3 points and 7.7 assists in his second NBA season. ``Our offense was clicking. We ran some good plays, executed, and the ball was going in the basket.''
Utah has won three straight against Milwaukee and six of the last eight meetings between the teams.
Despite a season-high point total, the Bucks' defense let the team down in a 116-111 loss to Washington on Friday.
The defeat, Milwaukee's third straight, came after the Bucks (2-4) blew a nine-point fourth quarter lead by allowing the Wizards to score 40 in the final period.
``We did a lot of good things, but we didn't finish them off,'' Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. ``You almost have mixed emotions because we played with good energy and we played inspired, but, bottom line, we didn't make the plays needed to win those games.''
Michael Redd scored 28 points for the Bucks and Andrew Bogut had 15 before fouling out, but at least one player wasn't happy with how Stotts was rotating his players.
``We had the game and we let it get away,'' said forward Ruben Patterson, who scored nine points, but played only 3:40 in the fourth quarter after playing more than seven minutes in the third. ``As a player, you make a run like that, you've got to stick with the players that got you back in the game. It was just so ugly.
``I'm trying not to be frustrated about it, but I am. There ain't no way we should've lost that game.''
Following Saturday's contest, the Bucks play back-to-back road games against Atlanta and New Jersey on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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