01-21-2007, 04:19 PM
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Jazz Quiet Raptors Behind Okurís 27 Points
Utah 102, Toronto 94 (F)
TORONTO, Jan. 19 (AP)-- Andrei Kirilenko now says he's happy about his role in Utah's offense - and Jarron Collins was the Jazz's unhappy player on Friday night.
Mehmet Okur scored 27 points and Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 19 rebounds to lead Utah to a 102-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Deron Williams added 16 points and eight assists for the Jazz, who have won two straight following a four-game losing skid.
Kirilenko, who has complained about his role, had eight points, six assists, five rebounds and a key steal down the stretch.
Jazz owner Larry Miller said in a radio interview Thursday that Kirilenko was "putting himself on thin ice'' by struggling and complaining.
Kirilenko said he's felt more involved the last two games.
"It's a 100 percent difference. When you see that your needed on the floor it's another business,'' Kirilenko said. "I don't think I ask a lot. I didn't ask for shots. I never said I needed shots. I need touches, that's different. I think the last two games you see the difference.''
Kirilenko said he questioned why he was playing when he wasn't getting touches. He went 4-for-6 from the field against Toronto.
"I'm playing much more active,'' Kirilenko said. "If I'm not playing, I'm working and working is a difference.''
Collins called it "bull'' that he didn't play in the second half.
"Eight points in seven minutes and I can't get back in the game?'' the center said.
Chris Bosh had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who had won four of their previous five. Toronto is 1-1 on its a five-game homestand.
The Raptors now play three relatively easier games against Charlotte, New Orleans and Boston.
"We took a step back today,'' Bosh said. "We need to look at the film and learn from our mistakes, continue to play our style of defense because we didn't do such a good job today and we just have to take this one and try to get the rest of the three games we have on this homestand.''
Kirilenko stole the ball from Morris Peterson before passing to Matt Harpring for a dunk that made it 100-92 with 51.5 seconds left.
Andrea Bargnani's jumper cut it to four with 45 seconds left, but Peterson missed a 3-pointer and Williams made two free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.
The Jazz outrebounded the Raptors 45-34 and outscored them 48-30 in the paint.
"I felt like we beat ourselves,'' Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "Not to take anything away from Utah but we turned down shots when we were open, we missed people on easy passes that we normally make. We were just in funk. We missed free throws, we missed layups, we missed shots that go in.''
Okur's turnaround jumper capped a 12-0 run, giving Utah a 12-point lead with 4:38 left in the third quarter. Toronto closed within six, but Okur's 3-pointer just with 14 seconds remaining in the quarter made it 80-71.
T.J. Ford, Toronto's starting point guard, went just 3-for-13 from the field for just eight points. Jose Calderon, the backup, had 16 points and five assists in 21 minutes.
Notes: Former Raptor center Rafael Araujo has played in just five games for Utah. Toronto took him with the eighth pick in the 2004 draft. ... Utah plays at Chicago on Saturday before returning to Salt Lake City to play nine of the next 11.
Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited