Lopez leads Jazz over SuperSonics

Boozer scores 14 points in Utah win

Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Jazz may have found a point guard they'll stick with.

The job that has bounced between three players all season came back to Raul Lopez, who did everything he could Wednesday night to make sure he hangs onto it in a 109-100 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.

Lopez had a career-high 11 assists and matched his best scoring total with 20 points.

"We don't have to think about who scored more points. We won the game and that's what matters," said Lopez, who was making his sixth start of the season. "We have a lot of games where people scored a lot of points and we lost."

Lopez and Howard Eisley are Utah's only two active point guards, less than a week after having four on the roster. Carlos Arroyo, the starter last season, was traded to Detroit last week and Keith McLeod was placed on the injured list Wednesday because of a strained hamstring.

Lopez looked like he's been starting all along, although he had plenty of help as seven Utah players scored in double figures.

"I thought he had a good game and I thought he played really well," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.

"He seemed to play with a lot more confidence than what he's played with."

Andrei Kirilenko scored 12 points and had five blocks in his third game back after missing 26 with a knee injury, and Utah escaped the season series against Seattle with a 1-3 record.

Matt Harpring scored 17 and Juneau-Douglas High School grad Carlos Boozer had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Jazz. Mehmet Okur scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth and combined with Kirilenko and Lopez to put away the Sonics down the stretch.

"Six minutes before the end and we were up nine points. I still think we need a couple more finishes to win the whole game," Kirilenko said. "We did it and we finally won the game."

The Sonics beat the Jazz in Seattle on Sunday night, but were coming off a late-night win over the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Ray Allen led Seattle with 27 points.



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