SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -Playing without their star point guard, the Utah Jazz shared the ball better than they have all season.
C.J. Miles scored a season-high 24 points and Carlos Boozer added 20 to help the Utah Jazz overcome the absence of Deron Williams and beat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-94 on Wednesday night.
``When you pass the ball, and share, you get a lot of easy baskets. I thought our guys did a great job doing that tonight,' said Utah coach Jerry Sloan after the Jazz set a season-high with 39 assists and shot 56.8 percent from the field.
Williams sat out with a sprained right wrist, which he sustained when he hit the ground after a driving layup in the fourth quarter of Monday's loss to New Orleans. The Jazz point guard warmed up prior to the game, but was only able to shoot with his left hand. An MRI scan Tuesday was negative and Williams plans to make the trip to Memphis and may play Utah's next game on Friday.
``Without Deron, we wanted to come out aggressive. I personally wanted to be active and move within the offense,' Miles said. My teammates were finding me for open shots and I got off to a great start.'
Backup point guard Ronnie Price, who started in Williams' place, scored 14 points and had six assists despite a sore left shoulder.
``I felt like my arm was going to fall off but my team needed me and things worked out the way we were playing together,' Price said.
Sundiata Gaines, a recent 10-day contract signee, played his first NBA game and had three points and five assists in 21 minutes as the Jazz won for the first time in four games.
``We have been struggling and we weren't having fun, just playing tight and anxious trying to make things happen. Everybody was frustrated,' Miles said. ``Tonight we played more the way we should and we enjoyed it.'
Sam Young matched his career-high scoring 22 points for Memphis. Zach Randolph added 18 points for the Grizzlies, who saw their three game winning streak snapped.
``They outworked us tonight. We came off a hard game last night and I think we were fatigued,' said Randolph of following Tuesday's 109-105 win at Portland.
Miles broke out of his recent shooting slump with 15 first-half points to lead Utah to a 60-48 advantage at the break. He made 10 of 16 shots, including three 3-pointers, after shooting only 37 percent over the prior five games.
``We wanted to come out and run, get up and down the floor, let guys get layups, get dunks and everybody gets hyped up,' Miles said.
Ronnie Brewer, who had a career-high 10 assists, sparked a 17-6 run midway through the third quarter with back-to-back steals. Price, assisted by Brewer, capped the run with a basket that made it 87-62 for the Jazz with 3:30 left in the period.
``Ronnie Price and Ronnie Brewer got our defense going, and we just took off. We got layup after layup after layup and it started with those two,' Boozer said.
O.J. Mayo scored 16 and Rudy Gay scored 11 but the road-weary Grizzlies were consistently late to loose balls and turned the ball over 20 times. The Grizzlies also failed to rotate on the defensive end and gave Utah open looks from the perimeter.
Memphis had won seven of eight games and moved above the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season but ran out of steam on the final game of a four-game road trip.
``Everybody in the NBA plays back-to-back,' Mayo said. ``We just came out maybe a little timid. We need to play harder than we did tonight.'
Wesley Matthews scored 15 points off the bench and Andrei Kirilenko, who played point at times, added 12 for Utah.
The Jazz have now won 11 straight games over the Grizzlies, the longest streak of any NBA team against Memphis.
Utah's largest margin of victory this season was also against Memphis, 120-93, on Nov. 30.
``If you weren't happy by the whoopin' that you got tonight, then you'll come back and compete the next game,' said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins regarding the teams' rematch on Friday.
NOTES: Randolph, who had seven rebounds, failed to extend his franchise record-tying nine double-doubles streak, which dated back to Dec. 16 at Atlanta. ... The Jazz are 2-1 when Williams is absent (he missed two games in November for personal reasons). ... Kyle Korver, who has been rehabilitating from knee surgery, scored for the first time since Dec. 26 against Philadelphia. ... Andrei Kirilenko tied his season high with three blocked shots.
The Associated Press News Service
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