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 Jazz beat Warriors for 8th straight win

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PostSubject: Jazz beat Warriors for 8th straight win   Jazz beat Warriors for 8th straight win Icon_minitimeMon Mar 02, 2009 7:30 pm

OAKLAND, Calif.(AP) The Utah Jazz's leading
scorer in their eighth straight win didn't play in the fourth quarter.
Their point guard counterbalanced his stellar playmaking with awful
shooting, and their star power forward didn't do much at all.Yes,
Utah's three-week winning streak might have been in serious jeopardy if
the Golden State Warriors had been trying as hard as possible to end it.Mehmet
Okur scored 23 points, Deron Williams had a season-high 20 assists and
Utah beat the voluntarily short-handed Warriors 112-104 Sunday night.Golden
State rested leading scorer Stephen Jackson as part of coach Don
Nelson's unorthodox plan to give more playing time to his youngsters,
and the Jazz capitalized by throttling the Warriors' offense late. Utah
hasn't lost since receiving a 20-point thrashing from the Warriors in
Oakland three weeks ago, and the Jazz hung on in the rematch with
defense.Ronnie Brewer scored 21 points one night after getting a
career-high 26 for the Jazz, who moved within two games of Northwest
Division-leading Denver. Their effort produced surprising raves from
hard-to-please coach Jerry Sloan, who loved his team's resilience."By
my standards, it's a good win, but boy, they've got some nice young
players they're working with,'' said Sloan, who gave his biggest praise
to Golden State rookie Anthony Randolph."Randolph was a live
wire out there,'' Sloan added. "He had maybe two or three blocks in a
row, and it looked like we were going to cave in, but fortunately we
stayed in there and kept our composure and ended up winning the
ballgame.''Corey Maggette scored 27 points and Randolph had a
career-high 20 for the Warriors, who also are resting Monta Ellis'
surgically repaired left ankle for at least two weeks as a precaution.
Jamal Crawford, who wasn't allowed to play in Golden State's loss to
Charlotte two nights earlier, scored 20 points in the Warriors' fourth
loss in five games.Nelson's plan left his fans scratching their
heads, but the Warriors still stuck with Utah until the final minutes.
Nelson blamed the loss on Golden State's season-high 25 turnovers - an
ironic high without Jackson, whose 188 turnovers in 48 games are nearly
twice as many as any of his teammates this season."We usually do
a really good job in that area,'' said Nelson, who plans to give paid
furloughs to veterans on Golden State's upcoming four-game road trip as
well. "I thought about half of them were unforced, trying to thread the
needle.''Utah took the lead late in the third quarter on a layup
by Carlos Boozer, who managed just 10 points and nine rebounds. The
Jazz made up for it with five other players in double figures,
including 17 apiece from Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap. Okur led Utah in
scoring for the fifth time in six games despite sitting out the entire
fourth quarter.Williams scored just six points, but had 16
assists in the first three quarters alone, matching his season high and
equaling the entire Golden State roster. Utah won without making a
field goal in the final 3:06, holding the high-scoring Warriors to five
points in the final 6:15."My offensive game didn't feel too good
today, "Williams said. "Driving to the basket, I was getting my shot
blocked. My jumper didn't feel right, so I just tried to give my
teammates the ball, distribute the ball."They want you to play
their game and they want you to get into their tempo, and I thought we
played our best when we were getting out and running. They're not a
very good defensive transition team, and we were able to exploit that.''Jackson
averaged 27.3 points per game during an outstanding February, but the
captain and emotional leader watched the game in street clothes.At
least he was replaced intriguingly by Randolph, the 14th overall pick
from LSU who has shown flashes of impressive play all season.In
an electric stretch of the third quarter, Randolph blocked a layup
attempt by Williams, grabbed an offensive rebound in traffic to earn
two free throws, and threw down an alley-oop from Kelenna Azubuike for
a rim-bending dunk to surpass his previous career high."I just
want to keep on building and not get too excited,'' Randolph said. "We
still lost the game, but I just want to stay consistent for the rest of
the year.''Notes: John Stockton had 20 assists 35 times in his
career, while Williams has four 20-assist games. Rickey Green is the
only other Utah guard to get that many, doing it once. ... Randolph
blocked a dunk attempt by Boozer in the first quarter, but replays
showed Randolph stuck his hand up through the hoop to do it. Not even
Boozer knew it at the time, however. ... Ellis sat out his third
straight game with stiffness in his ankle, injured in an offseason
accident on a motorized scooter.

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