The Utah Jazz didn’t wait long to reclaim their overpowering home-court advantage. They’ll look to rely on it again Tuesday when they try to increase their Northwest Division lead in a matchup with the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Jazz (46-25) beat Seattle 115-101 on Saturday, bouncing back from their first home defeat in 19 games. Their home winning streak, which ended with Thursday’s 106-95 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, matched the longest in team history.
The Jazz own the NBA’s best home record at 30-4 and have two games remaining on a five-game homestand. Utah completes the stretch Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Carlos Boozer had 26 points and 13 rebounds against the SuperSonics for his third straight double-double and 45th this season. Mehmet Okur, who was nursing a stomach flu last week, scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half.
“I have finally been able to eat regular food and work out the last couple days. I missed some shots in the first half but I stayed hungry and made my first few shots after halftime,” said Okur, who also had 10 rebounds.
Okur has scored in double figures in 14 of his last 15 games. He had just one point in the loss to the Lakers, but played only 6 minutes, 43 seconds due to his illness.
Deron Williams chipped in 15 points and 14 assists Saturday for his 12th double-double in 14 games. Williams ranks among the NBA’s leaders with 10.3 assists per game.
“I’m just having fun and my teammates are hitting shots and that’s where the assists are from. I can’t take all the credit. I’m definitely finding them, but they have to hit the shots,” he said.
Utah is just 3-4 all-time against Charlotte (25-44), including 1-2 at home. The lone victory in Salt Lake City came in the last meeting there, 120-95 on March 5 of last season.
The Bobcats, however, are 6-27 on the road this season. They beat Miami 94-82 at home Saturday after an 0-5 road trip, but are opening a four-game trip against Western Conference opponents.
The five road losses followed a franchise-record five-game winning streak and further damaged Charlotte’s already slim playoff hopes.
“It was very important to get this win,” said guard Jason Richardson, who had 24 points against the Heat. “We were on a five-game losing streak, coming off a five-game winning streak, and we know it’s going to be a tough road trip coming up, with four games in five nights. It was good to get a home win to get us back on track.”
Gerald Wallace chipped in 26 points in his best performance since missing eight games with a concussion. Saturday’s game was his sixth game back and third in the starting lineup.
“This is the first game since I’ve been back that I felt pretty good out on the court,” Wallace said. “I was moving good and my energy was good. … I’m still not 100 percent - maybe 95 to 98 percent - but I’m close. I’m getting there.”