Portland at Utah

Jazz hold off Blazers to keep perfect record intact; Sloan wins No. 999 with Utah

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Jazz looked to their smallest and oldest player to give them a spark when the game looked out of hand.

Brevin Knight, who joined the Jazz in the offseason, played the final 15 minutes and engineered a comeback that pushed Utah past the Portland Trail Blazers 103-96 on Wednesday night.

"I just had to go out there and pick up the pace a little bit and defend better," said the 5-foot-10 Knight, who had six points and six assists. "We got out on the break and I tried to bring a spark to the team."

Mehmet Okur scored 22 points and Carlos Boozer added 20 -- including four in the final 30 seconds -- for the Jazz.

"Guys are stepping up and playing great, no matter who happens to be on the floor," Boozer said. "We did a great job of staying in there and hanging with it. We fought back, got the lead and won the game."

Brandon Roy, who had 18 points for Portland, sliced Utah's lead to one at 97-96 on a drive down the lane in the final minute. Andrei Kirilenko found Boozer for a layup with 29.2 seconds left to reclaim the three-point advantage.

"It was a winnable game and we let it slip," Roy said. "Tonight was another case where we panicked and they made a run. Give them credit."

Roy quickly drove to the basket again and flipped the ball in the corner to Rudy Fernandez. The Spanish sharpshooter, who scored 14 points, missed off the front rim. Boozer and Paul Millsap each added a pair of free throws for the final margin.

Playing without starting point guard Deron Williams, the Jazz needed Knight. In a critical span bridging the third and fourth quarters, the 32-year-old guard -- who turns 33 on Saturday -- had three steals that led to dunks. The last slam by Millsap cut it to 78-76, and Knight gave the Jazz their first lead of the second half, 82-80, on a baseline jumper with 7:26 to play.

Williams has missed all four games this season because of a sprained left ankle. The point guard warmed up on the court before the game and hopes to play on Friday against Oklahoma City.

Jerry Sloan reached 999 victories as Utah's coach, the most ever by a coach with one NBA team. Sloan is the longest tenured coach in professional sports and will look to be the first coach to win 1,000 games with one team.

"The NBA is for the players," Sloan said. "I've been lucky to be a coach. (Reaching 1,000) is not something that I will do cartwheels over."

LaMarcus Aldridge also had 18 points for Portland.

Notes

  • Portland rookie forward Nicolas Batum made his first start, replacing Travis Outlaw in the starting lineup.
  • Portland's Greg Oden (right foot), Martell Webster (left foot) and Raef LaFrentz (right shoulder) missed the game.
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 provides the intensity -- and 20 points, including four in the final 30 seconds.  (Getty Images)
Carlos Boozer provides the intensity -- and 20 points, including four in the final 30 seconds. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Portland (1-3) 2329261896
Utah (4-0) «23222929103
POR:L. Aldridge 18 Pts
POR:J. Przybilla 16 Reb
POR:B. Roy 6 Ast
UTA:M. Okur 22 Pts
UTA:M. Okur 9 Reb
UTA:B. Knight 6 Ast
Players of the Game
UtahPortland

M. Okur

B. Roy
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
22921836
Portland
J. Przybilla, C373-31-416047
S. Blake, PG365-103-313116
L. Aldridge, PF367-153-422618
B. Roy, SG366-166-636318
N. Batum, SF182-40-06135
R. Fernandez, SG283-86-633014
T. Outlaw, SF233-71-231310
C. Frye, PF203-82-20038
S. Rodriguez, PG70-20-01310
R. LaFrentz, PFDid Not Play
I. Diogu, PFDid Not Play
M. Webster, SGDid Not Play
S. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
G. Oden, CDid Not Play
J. Bayless, PGDid Not Play
Totals 32-7322-2735192496
 43.8%81.5% 
Utah
M. Okur, C369-143-392322
C. Boozer, PF338-134-483220
R. Brewer, SG326-123-362316
R. Price, PG211-60-01412
C. Miles, SG162-50-00134
A. Kirilenko, SF325-87-844117
B. Knight, PG273-40-01606
P. Millsap, PF253-84-460410
K. Korver, SF182-40-03236
M. Harpring, SFDid Not Play
D. Williams, PGDid Not Play
J. Collins, CDid Not Play
M. Almond, SGDid Not Play
K. Fesenko, CDid Not Play
K. Koufos, CDid Not Play
Totals 39-7421-22382420103
 52.7%95.5% 
Other Games
Pho 113 Final
Ind 103
Det 100 Final
Tor 93
Phi 83 Final
Mia 106
Char 98 Final
NY 101
Atl 87 Final
NO 79
Chi 93 Final
Cle 107
Wash 104 Final
Mil 112
SA 129 Final
Min 125
Bos 96 Final
OKC 83
Mem 95 Final
Sac 100
Den 101 Final
GS 111
LAC 88 Final
LAL 106