For the second game in a row, Gordan Giricek came off the Utah Jazz bench and gave his team the kind of instant offense that was missing when the starters went out earlier in the season and at times last season.
Giricek logged a 12-point second quarter Monday night, making a steal just 23 second after entering the game and, after missing a mid-range shot, making a dunk and free throw after a Deron Williams steal.
His 12 points in the quarter Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, Memo Okur and Matt Harpring had four each while Giricek hit 4-of-7 shots including all three of his 3-point attempts helped Utah to a 25-point halftime lead in a game that it eventually won 117-93 at EnergySolutions Arena over the Sacramento Kings.
Giricek finished the game with those same 12 points after another 12 minutes of play but added a couple of rebounds and a couple of assists.
In Saturday's 118-94 home win over Memphis, Giricek shot 7-for-9 and had 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
"Oh, he's knocking them down," said co-captain Boozer.
"We have a nickname on this team I think J-Hart (Jason Hart) gave it to him. We call him 'Jumpers,' We call Giricek 'Jumpers,' " said Boozer, "because his jumper is wet."
"Yeah, except I was making hard shots from the (3-point) line, but I was missing easy layups. It should be reversed, but that's what I got today," said Giricek.
He did stall on a couple of layins in the fourth quarter when the Jazz were up by 13 and then 16, and that annoyed him.
But Giricek said, "Well, it happens. There will be nights where everything is going to go in. Sometimes it won't go in, but as long as we hustle on defense, it's OK."
"He's been giving us a huge lift off the bench," said Boozer, "because he's coming in and hitting open shots and creating trouble for the defense, so that helps us a great deal. It helps our starters when he's coming out playing the way he is.
" 'Gira' is a guy that started for us in the past, so he plays like a starter. He's comfortable coming off (the bench) and getting up shots, just like Matty (Harpring) is. Those guys help us a great deal. I'm really proud of him."
Giricek's focus was on the team as a whole, and he and Boozer both said the Jazz seem to be coming together.
On a night when Williams struggled to six points, six turnovers and seven assists, the Jazz still had six players in double figures led by Boozer's 32.
"It is good to have people step up," Boozer said, noting the several double figures. "There's going to be teams that try to take a player out (Williams on Monday), just like the Golden State game where they tried to double me and get the ball out of my hands, and we had guys step up and play. We had two guys over 30 in D-Will and Memo (in that game), and today I don't know how many we had in double figures, but it seemed like a lot. Six, which is great.
"You can't be terrific every night, but if we have guys that are ready to play like tonight, it will pick us up," Boozer said."Well, (Sacramento) didn't have some players (Mike Bibby, Ron Artest)," said Giricek, not wanting to get too excited with a three-game eastern road trip coming up. "But we did a good job today. We were helping each other. We always give effort, I think. We won by 20, right? So we play pretty good."
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