Grizzlies arrive late, play fresh in win vs. Jazz

Boozer posts double-double for Utah in loss to Memphis

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY - The Memphis Grizzlies arrived in Salt Lake City just hours before their game against the Jazz, and coming off a lackluster loss in Denver the day before.

Still, the Grizzlies looked fresh right from the tip-off Saturday night.

Pau Gasol scored 23 points and Shane Battier had 16 to help the Grizzlies beat Utah 110-94 and spoil the return of Andrei Kirilenko to the Jazz lineup.

Memphis' flight got in late because of fog at the Salt Lake City airport.

"It was really imperative we got started off right. We told each other we needed to come out with energy or it would be a long night," Battier said.

Kirilenko scored two points and had two blocks in just 12 minutes of play in his first game after missing 26 with a sprained knee.

"I feel a little bit of tiredness, heavy when I jump. Sometimes my mind was ready to get the rebound but my body didn't," Kirilenko said.

Reserve Brian Cardinal added 14 points for the Grizzlies, who snapped a five-game losing streak in Salt Lake City. Bouncing back from a 92-82 loss in Denver on Friday, the Grizzlies shot 57 percent from the field and made 11 of 19 3-point shots.

"We started off the right way. We got some good shots and established a lead and we were able to keep it the whole game," said Gasol, who had scored only 13 points in his previous two games.

Trailing the entire game, the Jazz got as close as 67-66 on Mehmet Okur's 3-pointer with 2:53 left in the third quarter.

Led by Earl Watson's seven points and skillful direction of the Grizzlies' motion offense, Memphis went on a 16-4 run that was punctuated by Gasol's dunk to make it 83-70.

"I think this shows the character of these individuals. They didn't like the way things went (in Denver) and tonight we just played good basketball," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.

Minutes later, the Grizzlies went on a game-clinching 13-3 spurt that featured five layups and dunks through Utah's porous defense. Watson finished with 12 points and six assists.

"It would have been easy to pack it in on a game like this in a place where we have lost so many games. But we did the opposite. We really brought it and I'm proud of our team's effort," Battier said.

Okur led the Jazz with 22 points in 25 minutes off the bench. Juneau-Douglas High School alumnus Carlos Boozer had 17 points and 10 rebounds while Keith McLeod and Gordan Giricek each had 15 points for Utah.

The Jazz played their first game without Carlos Arroyo, who was traded Friday to Detroit for Elden Campbell and a future first-round draft choice. Arroyo, who started the season as Utah's primary point guard and signed a four-year, $16 million contract in the offseason, had been mired on the bench as the Jazz fourth point guard in recent games.

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