CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Larry Brown and Jerry Sloan have combined for more than 2,000 NBA victories. On Friday night they both had to work hard searching for the right lineups because of key injuries.
In the end it was the well-traveled Brown, now in Charlotte, who edged the permanent fixture on Utah's bench.
"Naturally, they're short-handed with three really great players out," Brown said. "But you've got to take it any way you can get it."
While the Bobcats played without top scorer Jason Richardson (knee), the Jazz were without point guard Deron Williams (ankle), sixth-man Andrei Kirilenko (finger) and center Mehmet Okur, who is with his sick father in Turkey.
It produced a night of odd lineups and matchups as Brown and Sloan matched wits, with Charlotte's backups the difference in giving Brown his third win in his ninth NBA job.
While Matt Carroll replaced Richardson in the starting lineup, it was Morrison who played the bulk of the minutes at shooting guard. The No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft, who missed all of last season because of a knee injury, scored 15 points, including a 3-pointer with 5:06 left that put Charlotte ahead 87-82.
"I'm feeling a lot better. My body is starting to come back," said Morrison who hit three of five 3-pointers. "I'm starting to find my role on this team."
Ryan Hollins added five points, four rebounds and two blocks off the bench, and Wallace and Felton contributed solid free-throw shooting down the stretch as Charlotte snapped a two-game losing streak.
Carlos Boozer had 26 points and 15 rebounds despite being in foul trouble for the Jazz, who committed 20 turnovers in their third loss in four games following a 5-0 start.
"When they put pressure on us, we went crazy a few times," Sloan said. "That's when we either turned the ball over or took tough shots with no purpose."
Ronnie Price started for Williams, who was out after suffering a setback in his recovery from a left ankle injury that sidelined him for the first six games. Brevin Knight played the point down the stretch, and committed two key turnovers against his former team.
"For some reason we just can't beat the teams we're supposed to beat," said Boozer of the Jazz, who lost to previously winless Washington Wednesday. "Even if we're short-handed, I feel like the guys in the locker room can play with anybody."
But not well enough to prevent Brown to inch a little closer to Sloan (1,095-1,013) on the career wins list. How the coaches with the fourth- and fifth-most wins NBA history got there couldn't be more different.
Sloan, the longest-tenured coach in the four major professional sports, is in his 21st season with the Jazz. Brown has coached seven teams in that span, with Friday marking his eighth game with the Bobcats.
Before the game, Brown reminisced an exchange he had with Sloan before the deciding game of a 1992 playoff series when Brown was with the Los Angeles Clippers.
"He said to me, 'You know, Larry, this might be my last game if you guys beat us," Brown said. "Think about that. I've been about eight different places since and he's won about 8 million games."
Replied Sloan: "I felt that way before every game, up until the last year or so. ... I've been real lucky my owner didn't run me off."
The Bobcats, who came in last in the NBA in scoring at 87.3 points a game, shot 47 percent and hit 19 of 20 free throws in the fourth quarter as Brown tinkered with his lineup.
Sean May also started for the first time since the opener, when Brown criticized his conditioning following knee surgery. He had eight points and four rebounds in 19 minutes.
"He's a great coach, so he did different things until he found out what was the right lineup for us to win the game," Felton said of Brown. "That's how we kept out there and that's how we won the game."
Price had 14 points and five turnovers and Knight had eight points and three turnovers playing in place of Williams. They combined for eight turnovers. ... Wallace was 5-of-13, but made 12 of 14 free throws and added nine rebounds.
- Mike Callahan
- Rodney Mott
- Phil Robinson