clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Utah Jazz forced to play without Williams, Kirilenko

SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz lost to Atlanta on Monday night without both starting point guard Deron Williams and starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko.

"We would have loved to have them," swingman Kyle Korver said, "and hopefully they'll be back on Wednesday."

Williams said afterward that he does plan to play in Wednesday night's home game vs. Charlotte, but Kirilenko's status against the Bobcats is uncertain.

Williams was out because of a right quadriceps contusion sustained in Sunday night's win at Portland. He finished that game, but did have ice on his thigh and knee after getting hurt.

Backup Ronnie Price started in Williams' place Monday, and finished with 13 points and six assists in 33 minutes but shot just 5-for-14 from the field.

Kirilenko experienced back spasms in the second quarter of Sunday's game and did not return. Monday's was the seventh game he's missed this season because of back issues, including six in late November and early-to-mid December with a strained lower back.Backup C.J. Miles started in Kirilenko's place. He scored 12 in 38 minutes, but shot 5-for-13.

OKUR'S WILD RIDE: Jazz starting center Mehmet Okur flew with the Jazz from New Orleans to Oakland last Thursday, sat down to dinner and fielded a phone call from his wife.

Wife Yeliz was in labor, so Okur immediately flew to Salt Lake City, arrived around midnight, got picked up at the airport by his father-in-law visiting from Turkey and made it just in time for the arrival of first son Yigit around 1:15 a.m.

"I'm glad I made it, first," he said. "I could have missed it. ... I'm glad I found a plane ticket."

Mother and baby, both healthy, are expected to go home today.

A tired-looking Okur, who missed games at Golden State on Friday night and at Portland on Sunday, started against Atlanta on Monday.

He played only 14 minutes, scoring six points.

Okur said he'll try to benefit from the knowledge base built by the birth of his first child, daughter Melisa, whose arrival a few years ago was followed by a long stretch of poor play.

"I didn't sleep on the couch, that's the first thing. I learned my lesson," he said.

"Hopefully I'll be OK."

BOOZER HONORED: The NBA on Monday named Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer its Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Feb. 15 through Sunday, marking the second time this season and fourth time in his six seasons with the Jazz he's received the award.

Boozer averaged 20.0 points, 15.5 rebounds (second in the West) and 3.8 assists during a 4-0 week, with victories at Houston, New Orleans, Golden State and Portland.

He had a career-high 23 rebounds and 22 points, including an overtime-forcing board and bucket at the buzzer, against the Blazers; 30 points, 16 rebounds and two steals against the Warriors; 16 points, 15 boards and two steals against the Hornets; and 12 points against the Rockets.

HARPRING WAIVED: So much for Matt Harpring's days of Thunder.

After not involving him in a trade deadline-day deal last Thursday, Oklahoma City on Monday waived the longtime Jazz forward to make roster space so it could sign undrafted ex-University of Memphis guard Antonio Anderson from Rio Valley of the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract.

The Jazz traded Harpring and his expiring contract along with rookie backup point guard Eric Maynor to Oklahoma City in December as part of a deal that will save Utah about $10.4 million in salary and luxury-tax relief this season. Harpring — who wasn't go to play for any NBA team this season because of career-ending knee and ankle injuries, and is embarking on a basketball broadcasting career — will receive all of the remainder of his $6.5 million salary from the Thunder.