Utah's Okur puts hurt on old team

Ex-Piston scores 19 points as Jazz win; Boozer pours in 20 for Utah

Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2004

SALT LAKE CITY - Just a few days after receiving his NBA championship ring, Mehmet Okur reminded his former team what they let go.

Okur scored 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds to help the Utah Jazz beat the Detroit Pistons 108-93 Saturday night.

"I thought he went after the ball on the boards better because he was inspired to play against his old team," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "He played with a lot more confidence tonight as far as shooting and passing. He's a very skilled player that way."

The 7-foot Turk shot 5-for-10 from the floor and hit his only 3-point attempt. He also had plenty of help from his new teammates, who built a 23-point lead against the short-handed Pistons and never let them get closer than nine after that.

"I tried to play just like myself. Nothing special, you know?" Okur said. "I look at my teammates if they're wide open. If I'm wide open, take the shot. I felt good."

Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko scored 17 for the Jazz, who have scored 100 points five times in six games. Utah had just six 100-point games last season.

"It wasn't easy. That's a very talented team," Boozer said. "Those guys work hard and they almost came back on us."

Detroit was without Ben Wallace, who missed the game because of a death in his family, and Chauncey Billups, sidelined with a sprained ankle. The Pistons couldn't overcome Utah's hot shooting. The Jazz went 41-for-70 (59 percent).

"They run their offense perfectly. They wait until they get the right screens, the right back door cut, everything," said Tayshaun Prince, who had 16 points for Detroit. "We knew how important it was for us to come out and be aggressive, but we weren't very aggressive."

Richard Hamilton scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half for Detroit. Antonio McDyess had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Detroit, which has split its first six games.

Okur, who also had seven rebounds, scored more than 12 points for the first time in six games with the Jazz after signing a six-year deal this summer.



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