Boozer powers Williams-less Jazz past Sixers

PHILADELPHIA -- While coach Jerry Sloan was addressing the media, a giddy group of Utah Jazz players could be heard laughing in the adjacent locker room.

They had plenty of reasons to be thrilled.

Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Wesley Matthews added a career-high 16 points and the short-handed Utah Jazz ran past the Philadelphia 76ers 112-90 on Friday night.

"They should be happy," Sloan said. "I don't think a lot of people expected them to win."

Paul Millsap and Mehmet Okur scored 15 points each, Ronnie Brewer contributed 14 and Eric Maynor had 13 points and 11 assists for the Jazz, who played without point guard Deron Williams yet still had seven players in double figures. Andrei Kirilenko had 13.

"With Deron out, we knew we had to step it up," Boozer said. "You've really got to tip your hat to the rookies."

Williams -- who leads the Jazz in scoring and assists -- temporarily left the team to deal with a family medical issue, but could return in time for Saturday's game at Cleveland.

After Friday's game, Williams released a statement which read in part, "We [he and his wife] both appreciate the support of the fans, the Jazz organization and my teammates. I will return to the court as soon as possible."

The Jazz had only nine available players. Also missing were guards Ronnie Price (sprained left big toe) and Kyle Korver (left knee surgery) as well as forwards Matt Harpring (ankle/knee) and C.J. Miles (left thumb surgery).

Utah started a pair of rookies in the backcourt in Matthews and Maynor. Maynor had played only 31 minutes all season before this game.

"It felt real good, like I was back in college again," Maynor said.

Thaddeus Young scored 17, Jason Kapono added 12 and Andre Iguodala had 11 points and 10 assists for the Sixers, who fell to 4-5. Elton Brand had 11 points and Lou Williams 10.

"From the second quarter on, they pushed us and we didn't push back hard enough," Brand said.

The Jazz held a 23-point lead late in the third quarter when Kirilenko hit a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left to go ahead 92-69. Utah scored the final eight points of the quarter. Utah's lead increased to 26 early in the fourth.

"Maybe if the bully pushes us long enough, maybe we'll push back," Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan said. "That time hasn't come yet."

The Sixers briefly closed within 99-85 on a jumper by Kapono with 5:41 left before the Jazz pulled away and sealed the win.

Using a 17-4 run late in the second quarter, the Jazz raced to a 60-46 advantage. They led 64-50 at halftime and shot 54 percent from the field.

Game notes
Iguodala had one free throw attempt in the previous two games. He was 3 for 5 against the Jazz. Utah hit its first 17 free throws before missing. The Jazz had only three turnovers at halftime.