SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Carlos Boozer took Thursday's exhibition
game seriously. He wanted to be in the game down the stretch.
"It was good to be back in there in the fourth," said Boozer,
who scored nine of his 23 points in the final quarter as the Utah
Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-90 in an exhibition game
"I wanted to be a presence on the offensive and defensive end
and establish myself. We did a good job in the fourth quarter to
get the win," Boozer said.
Andrei Kirilenko added 15 for the Jazz, who had to turn back a
Blazer rally in the fourth quarter.
Kirilenko, who missed the last two games because of a sore lower
back, also had six blocks, seven rebounds and six assists for the
"I wanted to be active. I'm getting back in game shape and my
back feels very good now. No pain," Kirilenko said.
Utah coach Jerry Sloan was happy to see the Russian forward's
"He is very important to us and everybody knows that. He was
alive and we played him like we plan to play him in the regular
season," Sloan said.
Udoka, in his first preseason action with Portland, played after
his father passed away suddenly earlier this week.
"Things happen and you just got to keep on moving on and play
through it. Obviously I wanted to come out and play well, not only
for the opportunity to make this team, but for my father," Udoka
Zendon Hamilton, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds, made a layup
to cut the Jazz's lead to 81-78, but Brian Chase hit two 3-pointers
in a 12-3 run. When Portland cut the lead to six late in the game,
the Jazz tightened their defense and Boozer took over inside to
help Utah pull away.
After shooting 3-of-19 in exhibitions this year, Mehmet Okur
made 6-of-10 and scored 13 points.
"That's why we play preseason games. We can fix what's going
wrong. I felt good tonight out there and I never really worry about
my shot," Okur said.
Utah's Derek Fisher missed his second game in a row because of a
severely bruised pelvis, while Portland's Joel Przybilla left the
game in the first quarter to get stitches in his chin. He returned
in the second quarter.