PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- One night after getting blown out, the
Utah Jazz played with a lot more effort on the defensive end.
The Jazz had lost to the Clippers by 15 points on Friday night
as Los Angeles shot 55 percent from the field.
"All I'm asking for from these guys is for them to compete hard
... If you like the game enough, this is what you want," Jazz
coach Jerry Sloan said.
This time, it was Portland's effort that was lacking. The
Blazers were outrebounded 48-30, and gave up easy baskets down low.
Mehmet Okur added 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Utah moved
into a tie for ninth place in the Western Conference with New
Orleans. The Jazz are two games behind Sacramento.
Zach Randolph scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half for
the Blazers, whose losing streak is their longest since dropping 12
in a row in 1986.
"With the offensive and defensive rebounding, they killed us on
the boards," said Blazers rookie Martell Webster, who had 14 of
his 23 points in the first quarter. "That's the game right
Jarrett Jack added 12 points and eight rebounds for Portland,
which is last in the Western Conference and 3-24 since Feb. 3. The
Blazers have lost all three meetings with Utah this season, getting
outrebounded 141-96 in those games.
Utah, the top rebounding team in the league, also shot 48
percent from the field as Portland's defense broke down time and
The Jazz led by three after the first quarter, but extended the
margin to 54-41 by halftime as Carlos Boozer scored 10 of Utah's
last 15 points in the second quarter.
Boozer finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists
for the Jazz. Deron Williams added 18 points and five assists.
Steve Blake, who had started 50 straight games, sat out for
Portland, as coach Nate McMillan began instituting a plan that will
call for only two of the Blazers' three point guards -- Blake, Jack
and Sebastian Telfair -- to play each game. McMillan hopes the
rotation will allow each player more time running the team as the
Blazers evaluate talent with an eye on next season.
Jack, the only Blazer to play in every game this year, made his
second straight start and alternated with Telfair.
The Jazz bounced back from the 106-91 loss to the Clippers,
where all five Los Angeles starters were in double figures.
Afterward, Sloan challenged his team to take advantage of the
upcoming games. Three of the Jazz's next four opponents have losing
records, including the Blazers, who they play again in Salt Lake
City on April 8.
"Hopefully, we showed him that we do want to make it and our
focus is still on making the playoffs," Boozer said.
Utah's Kris Humphries started in place of small forward
Matt Harpring, who sat out with a sprained ankle. ... Darius Miles
airballed two of his five shots and finished with two points and
one rebound in 17 minutes for the Blazers. Miles is 1-for-11 from
the field with just two points and three rebounds in his last three
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