NBA: Carlos Boozer sparks Chicago's rally vs. Utah
Chicago's Carlos Boozer improved to 4-0 against his former team Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Boozer, the ex-Jazz All-Star, scored 11 of his 19 points in the final 4:58 to help the Bulls rally past Utah.
Chicago's 93-89 victory was its fourth straight since acquiring Boozer in a sign-and-trade deal prior to the 2010-11 season.
"It was a good win for us," Boozer said, noting the Bulls were coming off a 128-96 blowout loss at Denver on Thursday.
"We all felt terrible, so we came in today focused. I thought we had a great start. They are a good team. They fought back. â¦ [But] at the end we just did a good job finishing. We did a good job passing the ball, making good plays, making free throws and getting stops when we had to."
Boozer's night didn't start well. He picked up two fouls in the first 5:12 and ended up playing only 31 minutes.
Oddly, Boozer said his foul predicament helped him down the stretch, when he helped the Bulls fight back from an 81-77 deficit.
"I got in foul trouble so early in the game," Boozer said. "I'm not used to that usually I don't. So I was super-fresh in the fourth quarter.
"I'm not even tired right now. I've got energy. My legs feel good. I was just trying to give my team some juice, you know."
Boozer missed three games last week because of a hamstring injury but, in his third game back, he burned the Jazz and continued an outstanding season.
Boozer has played in 47 of the Bulls' first 50 games. He averages 15.7 points and 9.4 rebounds.
According to coach Tom Thibodeau, however, Boozer has contributed in every way.
"Just solid play, veteran leadership," Thibodeau said. "He scores a lot of different ways. He rebounds the ball. He's done a very good job.
"He took a little bit of a hit with his hamstring but I think he's gotten his timing back. ... He's got to continue to do the things he's been doing all season."
Going into the game against Utah, Thibodeau knew power players Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Boozer would play a pivotal role.
The Jazz "are a team that's in the paint," Thibodeau said. "They are rebounding. They give themselves second shots. They move well. They cut well. When the ball's in the air, it's going to be critical" to rebound.
Chicago outrebounded the Jazz, 41-37. The Bulls grabbed 15 offensive rebounds.
• Carlos Boozer scores 11 of his 19 points in the final 4:58 to help Chicago beat the Jazz
• Boozer overcomes early foul trouble to help the Bulls snap a three-game losing streak.