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Sloan not happy with physical loss

ALBUQUERQUE — After seeing his Jazz get out-muscled in a 105-91 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night here, coach Jerry Sloan twitched with frustration.

"They really did a nice job of putting their bodies on us and forcing us out on the floor," Sloan said of the Kings, who got a game-high 25 points from swingman Kevin Martin. "And after we got stroked a couple times, we started standing — and then, in order to get the ball, we were halfcourt to get it. And you can't run an offense from that position."

Sloan suggested the Jazz did not know how to react when Sacramento got so physical.

"In order to try to beat that," he said, "we went through a stretch where we tried to do it individually."

It didn't work, obviously, dropping the Jazz — who were playing their fifth game in seven nights, and sixth in nine — to 3-3 in the preseason with two exhibition games still to go.

BOOZER BRIGHT: One of the few bright spots for the Jazz on Thursday was power forward Carlos Boozer, who logged 22 minutes while scoring 15 points (matching center Mehmet Okur for team-high honors) on 7-for-8 shooting from the field in just his third game back after tending to his ill son back home in Miami.

Sloan, however, saw faults in even Boozer's game too.

"Boozer's energy dropped off a little bit from the first two times, because that's what happens," he said. "If you miss a lot of games, the first game or two you're really excited — and then reality sets in.

"I told him he'll be fine," Sloan added, "but you've got to work through that."

MISC.: As expected, Jazz backup small forward Matt Harpring was not with the team. Harpring traveled to California this week for testing on his surgically repaired knee. Both Sloan and Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said Thursday that they had not heard word on Harpring's prognosis.... Former Jazz guard and longtime Jazz assistant coach Kenny Natt, now an assistant with Sacramento after leaving Cleveland in the offseason, visited with Sloan and assistant Phil Johnson before the season.... Ex-Jazz big man Mikki Moore had seven rebounds in 19 minutes for the Kings.... Attendance at The Pit on the campus of the University of New Mexico was just 7,507.... The Jazz, who committed a whopping 23 turnovers Thursday, have today off from practice and return to action with a free, open-to-the-public scrimmage Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com