Handlogten shows spark in first game back
Ben Handlogten returned to the Jazz on Friday night, 15 months after suffering a knee injury that nearly ended his career.
Handlogten played 10 minutes in Memphis' 94-82 win over Utah at the Delta Center. He finished with two points, two steals and one rebound in his first game since tearing up a knee on Dec. 7, 2003.
"I thought he did OK," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "At least he went after the basketball a couple of times. His conditioning is not good and his knee was a little sore. But with the enthusiasm we showed tonight, anybody who looked a little excited about playing, you noticed."
Handlogten made the Jazz's roster as a 30-year-old free agent last season. But during a 94-92 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles, he suffered a knee injury that ended his season and nearly sent him overseas to resume his career.
The Jazz called Handlogten this week, however, when forward Carlos Boozer went on the injured list. He signed a 10-day contract.
Speaking of Boozer, he did not attend the Jazz-Grizzlies game.
According to Sloan, Boozer was in Los Angeles, where he was getting a second opinion on the foot injury that has sidelined him since Feb. 15.
Boozer is expected to accompany the Jazz on their upcoming five-game road trip to Detroit, Cleveland, Indiana, New Jersey and Washington, but it is not known when he will be activated.
Seven Jazz players attended colleges which have probably secured berths in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
The group includes Howard Eisley (Boston College), Matt Harpring (Georgia Tech), Jarron Collins (Stanford), Curtis Borchardt (Stanford), Boozer (Duke), Kirk Snyder (Nevada) and Randy Livingston (LSU).
The Jazz player whose school is perched most precariously on the bubble is Snyder. Nevada, the regular-season champion in the Western Athletic Conference, was upset by Boise State in the semifinals Thursday.
The Jazz dropped to 13-18 at the Delta Center. With 10 games remaining, they have to go 4-6 to avoid the worst home record in franchise history (17-for-24 in 1979-80). . . . Livingston's first 10-day contract expires today, but Sloan said, "He'll be back." The Jazz continue to have vacant roster spots because Boozer (foot) and Collins (shoulder) remain on the injured list. Gordan Giricek did not play against Memphis because of a strained hamstring. . . . In their three wins over Utah this season, the Grizzlies have gone 28-for-57 from the three-point line.
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