Carlos Boozer returnsPosted by Inside Hoops
The Deseret News reports: They hit 70.7 percent from the field in the first half, their best opening-half shooting success 10-plus years. They led by as many as 26, and rolled in the second half. They had five scorers in double figures, two with double-doubles. They beat Atlanta 108-89 Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena, extended their winning streak to five, improved to 8-1 in February — and did it with all of their 15-man roster intact and healthy for the first time this season, including even starting power forward Carlos Boozer. The Jazz, in other words, had it together — and, accordingly, have head coach Jerry Sloan fretting over a new problem altogether. “Just trying to decide who to play and how to play ‘em — that’s going to be the toughest thing,” said Sloan, who got 58 points from his suddenly deep bench, including 16 apiece from Paul Millsap (who also had a game-high 12 rebounds) and Kyle Korver and 15 from Matt Harpring.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports: Boozer, meanwhile, had two points and five rebounds in 21 minutes, going 1 for 5 and missing two free throws. He was originally injured Nov. 19, underwent surgery Jan. 9 and missed 44 games in all, with the Jazz going 25-19 in his three-month absence. Boozer said his knee felt great, estimated it would two weeks to get back in rhythm and was encouraged by the victory. “When we get to the playoffs, if we’re hitting our stride at the right moment, we could be a dangerous team,” he said. The Jazz took a 31-24 lead into the second quarter, then outscored the Hawks 17-8 with Williams on the bench to build a 19-point lead. Such is the strength of their second team with Boozer back, anchored by Paul Millsap, Andrei Kirilenko and Harpring.