Boozer leads Jazz to season-opening rout of Lakers

JDHS grad scores team-high 27 points as Utah thrashes L.A.

Posted: Thursday, November 04, 2004

SALT LAKE CITY - Not even Kobe Bryant's 38 points could save the Lakers from one of the worst offensive performances in team history.

Bryant had another big game, but nobody else on the Lakers did as Utah held them to record lows for field goals and shooting percentage in a 104-78 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

"They play extremely hard, and when you fall behind like that, that's why the challenge is just to keep your poise," Bryant said.

The Jazz got the defending Western Conference champions - or what's left of them after a tumultuous summer - flustered early and held a double-digit lead for most of the game. Utah also blocked 14 shots and held the Lakers to 20 field goals, breaking the previous franchise low by three. Los Angeles shot 29.4 percent, also the worst in team history.

"I don't know who that says more about, but I thought we did a good job playing good team defense," said Raja Bell, one of five Utah players to score in double figures with 10 points.

Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Carlos Boozer, who signed as a free agent last summer, made his Utah debut by leading the team with 27 points and 11 rebounds against the Shaq-less Lakers, who were also without Vlade Divac (back).

"It was definitely a little different. It opened up a lot on the inside," Boozer said. "They have very good perimeter players, but we got them to make turnovers all game."

Matt Harpring, who missed the second half of last season after having knee surgery, finished with 23 points and seven rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko led the defensive charge with eight blocks to go with his 16 points.

Keith McLeod had eight assists - one more than the Lakers - in his first NBA start.

Gordan Giricek scored 11. Howard Eisley, who played for Utah from 1995-00, signed with the Jazz earlier Wednesday and finished with four points and three assists.

Heat 100, Nets 77

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Shaquille O'Neal made his debut with Miami and had his way against a familiar face from the Heat's recent past - Alonzo Mourning: Shaq shot 7-for-9 and finished with 16 points in a victory over New Jersey.

O'Neal and Mourning both had successful nights: O'Neal because his team won; Mourning because the former Miami center was able to play less than a year after undergoing a kidney transplant.

Magic 93, Bucks 92

ORLANDO, Fla. - Steve Francis hit the game-winning basket with two-tenths of a second remaining and finished with 26 points for the new-look Magic. Grant Hill, in his first regular-season action since Jan. 16, 2003, scored 20 points for Orlando, and top draft pick Dwight Howard had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Timberwolves 99, Knicks 93

MINNEAPOLIS - Kevin Garnett began his quest to repeat as league MVP with 28 points and 20 rebounds to lead Minnesota.

Raptors 95, Rockets 88

TORONTO - Chris Bosh had 20 points and the Raptors handed Tracy McGrady and the Rockets their second straight loss.

76ers 98, Celtics 95

BOSTON - Allen Iverson scored 30 points, five of them during an 11-0 fourth-quarter run when the 76ers took the lead and held off the Celtics.

Pacers 109, Cavaliers 104, 2OT

CLEVELAND - Ron Artest scored 31 points and Jamaal Tinsley added 15 points and 14 assists as the banged-up Pacers opened the season with a win. Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 35 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers, and LeBron James added 28 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

Wizards 103, Grizzlies 91

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Antawn Jamison scored 34 points as Washington won in the first regular-season game at the new FedExForum.

Mavericks 106, Hornets 91

NEW ORLEANS - Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and Jerry Stackhouse helped Dallas ruin Byron Scott's coaching debut with the Hornets.

Spurs 101, Kings 85

SAN ANTONIO - Tim Duncan scored 30 points and Brent Barry made three 3-pointers in his debut with San Antonio.

Suns 112, Hawks 82

PHOENIX - Amare Stoudemire had 18 of his 23 points in the first half, helping Phoenix win the opener for both teams.

Yuta Tabuse entered the game with 10 minutes left to become the first Japanese-born player to play in an NBA game. The 5-foot-9 point guard scored seven points, including 3 that put Phoenix up 100-64 with 4:58 to play.

Trail Blazers 78, Warriors 75

OAKLAND, Calif. - Nick Van Exel scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help Portland beat his former team.

Mike Dunleavy missed two 3-pointers in the final seven seconds, including one at the buzzer, spoiling the NBA debut of Warriors coach Mike Montgomery.

Clippers 114, SuperSonics 84

LOS ANGELES - Bobby Simmons scored a career-high 30 points and Los Angeles routed Seattle to win its season opener for the first time in eight years. The win also was the most lopsided in an opener in franchise history for the Clippers. Rashard Lewis led Seattle with 24 points.

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