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Charlotte at Utah

Boozer, Jazz help playoff cause, knock off visiting Bobcats

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's 20-point lead over Charlotte entering the fourth quarter dwindled to three midway through the period.

Just a few minutes later, it was back up to 20 again.

The Jazz outlasted the Bobcats in a game of streaks Tuesday night, winning 128-106 and avoiding the embarrassment of blowing a huge lead and what it could cost Utah in the tightly packed Western Conference.

"We weren't exactly clicking for a while," said Kyle Korver, who made three 3-pointers to lead Utah on a 17-6 run down the stretch after the Bobcats had drawn within three.

Carlos Boozer had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Deron Williams added 14 points and 15 assists for the Jazz, who increased their lead over idle Denver to 3½ games in the Northwest Division.

With only 10 games left in the regular season, Utah can't afford to blow any leads. The Jazz are only 2½ games out of first place in the Western Conference, but also only three games ahead of eighth-place Golden State.

"We have as much pressure as everyone else does on them," said Matt Harpring, who scored a season-high 18 points for Utah. "Everyone wants to make the playoffs. Everyone wants home-court advantage and everyone is within one, two, three four games of getting it."

The Bobcats went just 25-for-33 from the foul line, but were 16-for-16 in the fourth quarter as the Jazz kept sending them there and the rout was suddenly a close game.

Earl Boykins and Gerald Wallace hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 14-0 run for Charlotte, cutting Utah's lead to 101-98.

Andrei Kirilenko finally ended Utah's drought on a layup with 5:55 left and drew a foul. He missed the free throw, but Boozer grabbed the rebound and Korver hit a wide-open 3-pointer to put Utah up 106-98. Wallace scored on a layup, then Korver hit another 3, Kirilenko scored on a goaltending call and Boozer dunked off a pick-and-roll with Williams to put Utah up 113-102.

Korver added his third 3-pointer of the period and the Jazz continued to pull away after the close call.

"Kyle hit some big shots," Williams said. "We got stops on D. We got some fast breaks and we got the crowd into it."

Mehmet Okur also had a double-double for Utah with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Jason Richardson scored 26 and Gerald Wallace added 21 points for the Bobcats, who lost their sixth consecutive road game. Utah forced 21 turnovers and outrebounded Charlotte 49-28 while improving to 31-4 at home.

"They just play physical. They play aggressive. They hit you. They bang you, they beat you," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "Mentally, you've got to be tough to play these guys here because they're going to wear on you through the course of the game."

The Jazz shot 54 percent and were able to outscore the Bobcats 36-34 in the fourth quarter, when neither team was playing much defense.

"I thought we played pretty good in spurts this game," Williams said. "There were spots in the game we got a little lackadaisical and turned the ball over and you can't do that against a team like this."

Boykins added 14 points and Raymond Felton had 13 points and six assists for the Bobcats, who didn't make a field goal for the last 5:26 of the second quarter and still were able to make it close.

Charlotte had just ended a five-game losing streak on Saturday and trailed by 20 entering the fourth quarter, but gave the Jazz a scare early in the fourth.

Charlotte scored the first eight points of the third quarter, but let the Jazz go off on several big runs and Utah led 92-72 at the end of three. Charlotte finally made a lasting run early in the fourth quarter, getting within three before the Jazz regrouped.

Notes

  • The Jazz and Bobcats have split every season series since Charlotte joined the league.
  • Charlotte didn't score for the last 3:39 of the second quarter.
  • Richardson scored 14 in the first quarter -- 10 more than any other Bobcats player.
  • The Jazz were just 2-for-9 from 3-point range before going 4-for-6 in the fourth quarter.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Carlos Boozer goes for a layup, finishing with 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field.  (Getty Images)
Carlos Boozer goes for a layup, finishing with 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Charlotte (25-45) 24202834106
Utah (47-25) «27313436128
CHA:J. Richardson 26 Pts
CHA:N. Mohammed 5 Reb
CHA:R. Felton 6 Ast
UTA:C. Boozer 28 Pts
UTA:C. Boozer 13 Reb
UTA:D. Williams 15 Ast
Players of the Game
UtahCharlotte

C. Boozer

J. Richardson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
281332650
Charlotte
J. Richardson, SG378-166-650626
G. Wallace, SF347-134-514321
E. Okafor, C272-20-02324
R. Felton, PG276-121-106313
N. Mohammed, C180-22-65222
M. Carroll, SG234-102-230110
J. Dudley, PF234-90-15128
E. Boykins, PG214-64-424014
R. Hollins, C190-16-83036
J. Davidson, PF111-10-02132
D. Anderson, SGDid Not Play
O. Harrington, PFDid Not Play
S. May, PFDid Not Play
A. Morrison, SFDid Not Play
Totals 36-7225-33282125106
 50.0%75.8% 
Utah
D. Williams, PG425-113-4415514
C. Boozer, PF4110-178-9133328
R. Brewer, SG316-93-442116
A. Kirilenko, SF307-102-443416
M. Okur, C297-134-5103520
K. Korver, SF233-71-121210
M. Harpring, SF186-116-842318
P. Millsap, PF170-44-47124
R. Price, PG61-10-00102
J. Collins, C10-10-01000
C. Miles, SG10-00-00000
J. Hart, PGDid Not Play
M. Almond, SGDid Not Play
K. Fesenko, CDid Not Play
Totals 45-8431-39493125128
 53.6%79.5% 
Other Games
NO 114 Final
Ind 106
SA 107 Final
Orl 97
Atl 94 Final
Chi 103
LAC 90 Final
Dal 103
Wash 82 Final
Port 102