Jazz Go for Nine in a Row
Posted Nov 25 2006 11:22AM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
The Utah Jazz keep getting healthier and winning. It's a combination that could mean trouble for Golden State when the Warriors host the NBA's best team Saturday night.
With starting forward Andrei Kirilenko back in the lineup, Utah (12-1) will look for its first nine-game winning streak since the 1999-2000 season.
Kirilenko, who's averaged more than 15 points in his last three seasons despite missing time due to injuries, had five blocks and four assists in 29 minutes Friday as Utah rallied for a 114-108 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
It was his first game back after missing the last five with a sprained ankle. He only scored four points, but held Lakers star Kobe Bryant to two points in the fourth quarter while guarding him.
``Here's a situation where Andrei Kirilenko had four points in the ballgame and he was instrumental in us winning,'' Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. ``There's no question about that. He was terrific.''
Kirilenko has twice recorded five blocks in a game against the Warriors.
Friday's win was the fourth straight in which the Jazz needed to rally. After coming back from 16 points down twice and 21 points once in their three previous games, Utah won despite trailing by seven in the fourth quarter.
``They made their run, they got us down a little bit,'' said guard Deron Williams, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. ``We just fought back and took the game over.''
Carlos Boozer had 31 points and 16 rebounds, giving him 11 double-doubles in 13 games.
Utah has won two in a row and three of four in Oakland.
The Warriors (7-6) hope to avoid a fourth straight loss - and falling back to .500 - after losing 140-129 on the road to the Denver Nuggets on Friday. It was the most points allowed by a Golden State team since losing 143-133 to Portland on Jan. 26, 1993.
``This was unheard of,'' Golden State guard Jason Richardson said. ``This was depressing.
The loss overshadowed a career high 31 points by reserve center Andris Biedrins, who shot an impressive 14-for-17 from the field.
``I like the 31 points,'' said Biedrins, who had 10 rebounds. ``I like winning better. We just played bad defense.''
Golden State, which is near the bottom of the league in points allowed per game with 105.2, has allowed more than 110 points in each of their last three losses.
They also had a season-high 26 turnovers Friday.
Golden State is expected to be without leading scorer Baron Davis for a second straight game. Davis, who's averaging 20.7 points and 7.9 assists per game, did not make the trip to Denver because of a strained muscle in his ribs which also forced him to miss last Monday's loss to Phoenix.
He scored 21 points in 34 minutes when he came back against the Nuggets on Wednesday, but didn't look comfortable.
``He'll be out for a couple of games for sure,'' Warriors coach Don Nelson said. ``It's not a major type thing where he'll miss the season if he reinjures it.''
Davis has missed 111 games in the last four seasons due to a variety of injuries.
Golden State fell to Utah 106-82 on Nov. 4 in Salt Lake City. Mehmet Okur had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Utah, which also got 17 points and 14 boards from Boozer.
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