SALT LAKE CITY -- Even without their top defender, the Utah Jazz played their most stifling defense and continued the best start in the NBA this season.
The Jazz improved to 7-1 by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 112-90 Tuesday night, not allowing a field goal for 10 minutes and 27 seconds in the second half and turning the matchup of divisional leaders into a blowout.
"That's a big credit to our character and our defense. They're one of the best teams in the NBA," said Carlos Boozer, who had 16 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.
The same can be said of Utah, at least so far this season.
Mehmet Okur scored 27 points, Matt Harpring added 22 and rookies Paul Millsap and Ronnie Brewer had banner evenings as the Jazz played without forward Andrei Kirilenko, who is out with a sprained ankle.
Millsap blocked four shots, had four steals and pulled down six rebounds. Brewer had 12 points and two blocks in his first career start.
"Everybody felt like they had to pick it up," Millsap said. "That sums up the beginning of our season right there. Everybody comes in, everybody's excited to play."
Even without Kirilenko, who had blocked 18 shots in the first seven games, Utah reached 7-1 for the first time since the lockout season of 1999.
The Clippers, who had won five straight since losing the season opener, went without a field goal from Elton Brand's layup with 1:49 left in the third quarter until Corey Maggette's jumper with 3:22 remaining in the game.
"They raised their intensity level a little bit," Brand said. "They were going to the hole, contesting every shot, grabbing every rebound. They're a really scrappy, well-coached team."
Cuttino Mobley led the Clippers with 18 points.
Millsap punctuated Utah's dominant D by swatting a shot by Maggette hard onto the court with about six minutes left to play. Millsap flexed after the play as his teammates patted him on the back and Utah's fans cheered loudly throughout the stoppage.
"I don't understand how a young guy like Paul Millsap gets his hands on the ball as much as he did," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.
The Jazz had already pulled ahead 92-75 after closing the third quarter with a 16-4 run, then opened the fourth by scoring 11 of the first 12 points and playing tough defense every time the Clippers touched the ball.
Millsap made two free throws with 9.6 seconds left in the third quarter to put Utah ahead 79-72, then made a big defensive play before the end of the period. Millsap, Fisher, Brand and Shaun Livingston all dived to the floor for a loose ball and the officials called a jump ball with 2.7 seconds left.
Millsap beat Brand on the jump and Derek Fisher ran out the clock in front of the Jazz bench.
"Paul Millsap gave us a tremendous amount of help. Loose balls, blocked shots -- all that stuff," Sloan said. "Those things get the fans involved and show that you want to win, so they appreciate that. It gets you pumped up."
Brewer broke a 72-all tie on a three-point play with 1:05 left in the third quarter, then Fisher drove for a left-handed layup high off the backboard as Utah scored 14 straight points.
"What we did tonight was not a lot," Cassell said.
- Clippers C Chris Kaman had just three points and three rebounds before fouling out with 9:05 left.
- Cassell turns 37 on Saturday.
- With Kirilenko in a suit behind the bench, Sloan started three guards in Williams, C.J. Miles and Brewer.