Jazz rout Wizards to end 2-game losing streak

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Playing their fifth game in seven days, the Utah Jazz got a much-needed respite in the form of the struggling Washington Wizards.

Carlos Boozer(notes) scored 23 points, and Deron Williams(notes) notched his 35th double-double of the season before both starters rested the entire fourth quarter of a 112-89 victory Monday night.

“I was proud of us,” said Boozer, who led Utah in scoring for the 28th time this season. “We lost two tough ones on the road. We just played last night and we came back tonight and acted like we didn’t play last night. Hungry.”

Williams finished with 17 points and 11 assists, and keyed a 17-6 run at the start of the third quarter as the Jazz turned the game into a route and ended a two-game losing streak.

“He makes their team go,” Washington coach Flip Saunders said. “(He is) a guy that can push the ball offensively; can make plays as far as other teammates; has the ability to shoot 3s; has the ability to defend.”

Utah’s defense deserves some of the credit for the decisive third quarter. The Jazz held Washington to just 3-of-22 shooting in the period and stretched a 14-point halftime lead to a 30-point bulge entering the fourth quarter.

“We clamped down defensively,” Williams said. “It was just a good game for everybody.”

Andray Blatche(notes) scored 24 points and Mike Miller(notes) added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who shot 36.9 percent from the field and lost their eighth straight game.

Mehmet Okur(notes) scored 14 points for Utah, which had seven players score in double figures and won for the 11th time in 16 games.

The Jazz moved one game ahead of Oklahoma City for the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

“It’s nice to get one that’s a little bit easy,” Jazz guard Kyle Korver(notes) said. “I thought we played hard tonight. That was key. We win, usually, when we play hard, we play defense, we pass the ball.”

Blatche is averaging 22.6 points in the Wizards’ eight games in March. Alonzo Gee(notes) scored 10 points in the second half for Washington, which trailed 59-45 at halftime.

“We tried, but they just outworked us,” Blatche said. “They’re a great team, greatly coached and it showed they wanted it more than us. They got every loose ball they wanted, second-chance points … they just took over the game.”

Utah blocked six shots and forced 15 Washington turnovers.

NOTES: Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko(notes) missed his second straight game with a calf injury. The Jazz improved to 7-7 in the second game when playing back-to-back nights. It was the first meeting between the teams this season. Washington fell to 9-22 on the road.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Washington
A. Blatche Andray Blatche
9-19,  24 Pts
6 Rebs, 4 Assists
 Utah
C. Boozer Carlos Boozer
8-12,  23 Pts
9 Rebs, 2 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists

Scoreboard

Monday, Mar 15