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March 22, 2008 5:51 PM

Jazz game thread

Posted by Jayda Evans

GAME OVER: Honestly, tonight was the most entertaining the Sonics have looked in weeks. But it's still a loss, 115-101. Up next is a seven-game home stretch.

BREAKTHROUGH: After shooting 1-for-11 from three-point range in the opening half, the Jazz just connected on two to take a 10-point lead. A party atmosphere has broken out among the fans and Carlesimo called a timeout to stop the bleeding. Seattle is down 93-83 with 9:24 remaining.

CALLING WILKS: PG Luke Ridnour was just flattened and with Watson out, the Sonics may want to get on the hotline and recall G Mike Wilks. The Supes released him to save a roster spot, thinking they'd need an inside player. The Jazz have taken the lead 85-81 at the end of the third.

FLUSTERED REFS: The Officials are conferencing at midcourt because of a play by Damien Wilkins. KD blocked a Boozer layin and Wilkins grabbed the rebound and threw the ball over the backboard. Collison eventually retrieved it and tossed it ahead to Wilkins, but the Sonics didn't get the ball across halfcourt in time, drawing an eight-second backcourt violation. Boozer then converted on a powerful dunk that made the score 77-76. Whew!

WATSON OUT: Watson left with seconds to go in the second quarter with a right calf contusion and will not return. The Jazz are capitalizing, pulling within 63-61 in the third. It's a 9-2 run.

BLAME UTAH: Now I understand why the Sonics think all of those juggling-ball-multiple-horns-strapped-to-the-body gimmick halftime shows will work -- because the fans here are gobbling it up. It's interesting that a guy can play Gershwin with balls on a piano, but I'd rather pass. Give me a mini-concert or those dogs any day.

STILL LEADING: Utah challenged but Seattle is showing some moxie tonight. They took a 61-52 lead into halftime and are taking advantage of the Jazz's poor shooting (37.3). Watson is impressive with his game-leading 14 points and five assists. His smoothest assist was the bounce pass in between his legs to a trailing KD, who dunked the ball to give the Sonics a 56-47 lead. Durant has 13 points and steady Collison has 10 points and nine boards.

ROLLING BACK: The Jazz a pecking their way back into the game. A play by Boozer decreased their deficit to 49-44. Sonics are fighting hard considering they played last night and are out of the playoffs.

OKAY!: Rapper Lil' Jon is seated courtside. When introduced, though, there was only a slight applause. He's in town for Brewer and CJ Miles' birthday bash after the game. The artist is one of Mo Sene's favorite rappers, too.

MARSHALL OUT: Marshall walked back to the locker room in the opening quarter needing stitches for his lip. He will return, but the Jazz are starting to get more physical. They're shooting 38.7 percent from the field, missing even the easy buckets and you can feel the frustration mounting. Supes lead 45-36.

WILLIAMS BACK: After the Sonics won the opening quarter 34-23, Williams is back in the lineup. No injury was reported. He only played 9:07 of the first quarter, finishing with three points and one assist.

TOUGH CROWD: Jazz fans are starting to boo as the Sonics have stretched their lead to 31-23 behind two buckets by Watson and a Watson steal converted into a Damien Wilkins layin. Part of the Jazz's problem is the abscence of Williams. Ronnie Price replaced him and doesn't have a handle on the offense.

D-WILL OUT: Williams is on the bench grimacing and holding his right hand. No word on the injury.

BLOCK THAT: Kirilenko had a sweet block against KD at the rim. The Russian then baseball passed the ball ahead to Brewer for a FB dunk. The Jazz still trail 19-16 with 5:18 remaining in the opening quarter. The Sonics are rebounding and the Jazz are a little careless with the ball.

HOT NETS: The Sonics continue to shoot well. They're at 62.5 percent and hold an early 10-9 lead. The Jazz are taking a minute to get into the game, but this happened last time the teams met in Utah and the Jazz wound up winning by 21 points.

HUGGING THE ENEMY: F Donyell Marshall just gave a bear hug to the Jazz mascot. Marshall played for Utah from 2000-02.

WILCOX OUT, WATSON IN: F Chris Wilcox and PG Earl Watson spent equal time on the training table, but Wilcox isn't going to play today. He hasn't really tested his right pinkie sprain and wants to get a second opinion about the injury. He could return for the Portland matchup. Watson, meanwhile, said he's had so many injuries and played through them that his tweaked left ring finger is not a problem to deal with. He dislocated the joint when diving for the ball against Phoenix on Wednesday and felt it dislocate when hit against the Lakers on Friday. He said he grabbed his jersey and "popped it back into place."

Here are tonight's starters

Sonics
F Nick Collison
F Jeff Green
C Johan Petro
G Kevin Durant
G Earl Watson

Jazz
F Andrei Kirilenko
F Carlos Boozer
C Mehmet Okur
G Ronnie Brewer
G Deron Williams

The officials are Bob Delaney, Luis Grillo, and Olandis Poole.

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