The Jazz's rather forgettable game against Memphis on Saturday night ultimately may be remembered more for what didn't happen than what did.
Andrei Kirilenko didn't quite get what he wanted, coming one assist shy of what would have been his third career triple-double and his first since March 25, 2006.
Carlos Boozer didn't extend his double-double streak, ending it at six straight games to start the season two short of Karl Malone's club-record eight.
And the Jazz, fresh off two two-point victories decided in the final few seconds, didn't have to go to the wire this time, instead comfortably blowing out the Memphis Grizzlies 118-94 at EnergySolutions Arena.
"It definitely felt good to win one by a little bigger margin," point guard Deron Williams said after an outing in which the Jazz never trailed.
"It's good to win close games, but we don't want the game to be close, so to speak," added Boozer, who hit the winning basket late at Seattle on Friday night and watched Williams do the same late against Cleveland on Wednesday. "We'd rather be in the lead, and have a nice little cushion. So it was good to look up there ... and have a little bit of a spread."
The now 5-2 Jazz winners of three in a row heading into Monday night's meeting with Sacramento led late in the opening half by as many as 20 points, and extended that advantage to as high as 25 after the break.
Utah led by double digits throughout the second half and never really was threatened by a young 1-4 Memphis club coached by ex-Jazz big man Marc Iavaroni that committed a whopping 25 turnovers.
That was due in part to the play of Kirilenko, who wound up with 15 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, four steals and a block.
It was due in part to a 20-point, 13-assist double-double from Williams.
And it was due in large part to Boozer, who finished with a game-high 31 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the field but, logging just 32 minutes in the walk-over win, came up three rebounds away from a seventh consecutive double-double.
"That's all right," Boozer said. "I mean, stats will take care of (themselves) if we all play hard. If we get a win, that's the cure-all. So, for us, the biggest thing is to continue to work on our defense and continue to execute a little bit, and keep getting better as a team."
Not too surprisingly, meanwhile, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan even though Memphis' 94 points marked the lowest offensive output by a Utah opponent this season was displeased with what didn't get done by both his team's defense and its late-game offense.
Regarding the offense:
"It looked like we were on cruise control, but then they hit two or three shots (pulling to within 13 at 100-83 following a Casey Jacobsen 3-pointer with five minutes and 41 seconds remaining) and that's disappointing that you would finish the game off that way," said Sloan, who did not clear his bench until just 2:40 remained and the Jazz lead stood at 110-90. "I don't think that's the proper approach to making your team better. Just running around doing what you want to do that's what people call garbage time, and that's what makes garbage players.
"I know the game looked like it was out of reach, but we're still trying to get guys to understand how to play and what we're doing and you don't do it when you're making crazy plays," he added. "I don't see the value in that. I don't see what that teaches you. Obviously, you know, I'm a cranky guy, I guess, when I say that, because I shouldn't be that way. You know, I'm not giving them enough rein to do what they want to do. But when you get beat by 40 or 30 ... then hopefully they'll come back to what we're trying to accomplish."
And the defense:
"There were times when we tried to change ends, and they (the Grizzlies) had guys wide open. And that's not a good sign," Sloan said. "I mean, if you're gonna just look at your offense and not bust ... back down the floor on defense, people will recognize that and take advantage of it as you move forward.
The message was not lost on Jazz players.
"You know, we know that we can score. We have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket," Boozer said. "But for us to be a good team, we have to play a defense. Obviously we know that."
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