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Utah Jazz: Millsap provides spark in key second-quarter stretch

Published November 27, 2009 12:04 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah's 'other' power forward had a pretty good night, too.

While Carlos Boozer led the Jazz to a 105-86 victory over Chicago on Thanksgiving at EnergySolutions Arena, Paul Millsap also made a major contribution.

Millsap finished with 12 points and nine rebounds in only 29 minutes. He was on the floor when Utah took control against the road-weary Bulls.

"He's so good," said Boozer, who finished with 28 points. "We have a diamond in the rough in Paul. ... He does such a great job. We have a great luxury having Paul come off the bench for us."

Millsap played the final 4:22 of the first quarter and did not score.

He was outstanding early in the second quarter, however, when Utah built a 45-28 lead.

"Just trying to be aggressive, trying to push the tempo," Millsap said. "Just doing what I've been trying to do all year."

The Jazz were nursing a 28-22 lead when their defense forced turnovers on Chicago's opening two possessions.

Deron Williams converted the first one and Millsap, running the floor effectively, scored a layup to give Utah a 10-point advantage.

On the Jazz's next possession, the Bulls backed away from Millsap as he stood just behind the free-throw line.

Dared to shoot, Millsap pulled the trigger on an 18-footer. He buried it, continuing Utah's explosion.

"You have to shoot the ball," Millsap said. "I have to make them respect me out there. A lot of people haven't really seen me shoot that shot. [But] I know I'm capable of shooting it and capable of making it."

After the Jazz's fourth straight defensive stop, Eric Maynor missed a runner. But Millsap cleaned up, giving him six points in a span of 76 seconds.

His final basket during a 17-6 run came with 8:56 remaining in the half. He took a pass from Boozer and dropped in a tough-angle layup.

Millsap finished with eight points and six rebounds in 11:47 in the first half, when the Jazz built a 57-40 lead.

Millsap had an immediate impact in the third quarter, too.

He had just entered the game when the Bulls' Derrick Rose went to the basket and attempted a layup.

With authority, Millsap blocked the shot and triggered a fast break, which ended with Wesley Mathews' slam dunk that gave Utah a 73-54 lead.

"He drove baseline," Millsap said. "... I waited for him and was able to time it just right."

Going into the Jazz-Bulls game, Millsap had been on his best roll of the season.

In a six-game stretch, he reached double figures five times.

Millsap averaged 13 points on 33-of-54 shooting. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds despite playing more than 34 minutes just once.

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