SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—One night after their longest winning streak this century ended, the Utah Jazz didn’t appear to be dwelling on it.
Back at home and against an injury-riddled Chicago lineup, Utah looked more like the team that won 10 straight games than the one that lost by 13 points the night before. The Jazz beat the Bulls 97-87 on Saturday, pulling away after Chicago had cut a 14-point lead to two.
“That’s the beautiful thing about the NBA. Lose one night, you’ve got a game the next so you can jump right back into it,” said Utah’s Deron Williams, who had 15 points and 11 assists.
Williams’ string of nine straight games with at least 10 points and 10 assists ended with Utah’s 117-104 loss at Sacramento on Friday. The winning streak was the longest for the Jazz since they won 11 in a row in 1999.
Williams responded Saturday with another double-double for the Jazz, who also got 22 points and 12 rebounds from Carlos Boozer.
The Jazz have won 14 of 16.
“We wanted to keep winning, last night wasn’t part of the plans,” Boozer said.
“We’re one of the hottest teams right now. We’re playing good basketball and hopefully we’ll continue that into after the (All-Star) break because we’re going to need it,” Williams said. “The West is so compact right now.”
The Bulls were again without injured starters Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich and were wrapping up a six-game road trip. Despite the long trip and lack of depth, Chicago gave Utah a scare with a strong third quarter before fatigue caught up in the fourth.
“We are a little short-handed, but the guys that played, played hard,” said Chris Duhon, who had 11 points and eight assists for the Bulls. “They just wore us out a little bit at the end.”
Kyle Korver added 10 points as the Jazz reserves outscored the Bulls’ 31-17. Utah won its 12th straight at home and is 22-3 in Salt Lake City.
Chicago took a 37-36 lead on Sefolosha’s 3-pointer with 7:16 left in the second quarter, but the Bulls didn’t score again until Adrian Griffin hit a baseline jumper with 41 seconds left in the period. The Jazz scored 11 points while shutting out the Bulls for almost six minutes and led 49-39 at halftime.
“They have balance. They have toughness,” Chicago coach Jim Boylan said. “They are scoring a lot of points, which out West you need to do because the teams are pretty high-powered out here.”
The Bulls went 2-4 on their western road trip, although they made Saturday’s loss close for a while.
Nocioni got the Bulls within 67-65 on a jumper late in the third quarter, but Price answered that with a layup, then after a shot clock violation by the Bulls, Price hit a 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the period to give the Jazz a 72-65 lead entering the fourth.
“Ronnie Price came into the ballgame and gave us a little lift. He made some shots, made a couple nice passes and just made some basketball plays,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. “We got 4-5 points out of that situation and it kind of pumped us up there and gave us a little bit of life.”
Price opened the fourth quarter with a dunk off a pass from Boozer, then hit a 3-pointer with 9:05 left to put Utah up 81-69. Fans were cheering before Price even let go of his wide-open shot.
“Those shots came pretty quick and I was just happy that they went in,” Price said. “We were able to get some defensive stops. We got on a little roll, got our lead back up and that made it easier for us to close the win.
Utah had a 16-4 run between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth and led comfortably the rest of the way.
The Bulls were just 4-for-12 from the line in the first half. … Utah G Ronnie Brewer didn’t play because of a bruised tailbone. … Jazz F Paul Millsap played with a big bandage over his left eye after getting a cut that needed eight stitches on Friday. … Utah had 25 assists on 35 field goals.