Jazz cruise past Wolves
Posted: 10:12 PM- SALT LAKE CITY - Mehmet Okur scored 28 points and Carlos Boozer had 10 points in a three-minute stretch of the fourth quarter to lead the Utah Jazz to a 106-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Okur, who has averaged 27 points over the last five games, scored 19 in the second half and was 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
Deron Williams tied his career high with 15 assists, last achieved on Nov. 11 against Milwaukee, and Boozer added 18 points.
Mark Madsen made a free throw to cut the lead to 96-87 with 3:21 remaining, but Okur made two foul shots and Boozer capped his fourth-quarter spurt with a driving basket and a jumper to clinch Utah's fourth straight victory after a season-high four-game skid.
In their return from one-game suspensions, Ricky Davis scored a season-best 32 points and Kevin Garnett had 17 points and 11 rebounds, but the Timberwolves lost their fourth straight.
Garnett was ejected and then suspended after throwing the ball at Antonio McDyess and then taking a swipe at him during Minnesota's 104-98 loss to Detroit on Friday. Davis got his penalty for leaving the bench and walking into the locker room during that game.
Without Garnett and Davis, the Timberwolves lost 131-102 to Phoenix on Sunday in the opener of their five-game road trip.
The Jazz exploited the Wolves' weak interior defense with 48 points in the paint and a bevy of dunks and layups off the team's 30 assists. The Jazz also set a season low with just eight turnovers
Utah, third in the league in field goal percentage, shot 55.6 percent against Minnesota, its best mark since making 55.7 percent against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 20.
Minnesota led by six points in the first quarter but Matt Harpring led a group of reserves in capturing the lead for good in the second quarter. With the Jazz trailing 31-30, Harpring scored seven of his 11 points in a 19-5 run that gave Utah a 49-36 advantage at halftime.
Davis scored 16 points in the third quarter to try and keep the Timberwolves within striking distance but Okur scored 14 in the period and the Jazz led 83-66.