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Kanter has career highs as Jazz crush Bobcats

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Associated Press
3/2/2013 12:21:20 AM
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Enes Kanter had career highs with 23 points and 22 rebounds in a rare start, helping the Utah Jazz beat the Charlotte Bobcats 98-68 on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

DeMarre Carroll added a career-high 19 points, while Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans chipped in 14 apiece for the Jazz, who played without Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. It didn't matter against the Bobcats. Utah held a 62-24 edge on the boards.

Byron Mullens had 12 points and Ramon Sessions added 11 for the Bobcats (13-45), who shot under 35 per cent from the field and have lost five straight games.

Jefferson and Millsap, the top two scorers and rebounders for the Jazz, both sat out with left ankle sprains. Kanter and Derrick Favors started in their absence.

Kanter, the Turkish centre, made the most of his chance.

He became the first Jazz player to post at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in regulation since Carlos Boozer scored 21 points and pulled down 20 boards on Jan. 25, 2010, against the Phoenix Suns.

Jefferson was the last Jazz player to reach the 20-20 mark after posting 28 points and 26 rebounds in three overtimes against the Boston Celtics last April 26.

Kanter offered a preview of things to come when he made his first three baskets and pulled down four quick rebounds to push Utah out to an early 9-4 lead. That set the stage for Hayward to spark an even bigger run as the first quarter unfolded.

Hayward hit a pair of free throws, drove for a layup and buried a deep 3-pointer to help the Jazz outscore the Bobcats 10-1 over the final 3:25 of the quarter. It propelled Utah to a 21-9 lead. Charlotte went completely cold during that stretch. The Bobcats missed six straight shots to end the quarter and shot just 4 of 20 (20 per cent) in the period.

Utah opened the second quarter with a 16-6 run to take a 37-17 lead. Randy Foye provided the biggest highlight of the run when he made a 3-pointer -- his first basket of the game -- with 5:09 left before halftime to claim the single-season franchise record for made 3-pointers.

Carroll made three consecutive baskets in the final three minutes of the half, the final one a 3-pointer, to help Utah build a 47-24 halftime lead. It equaled the lowest first-half offensive output of the season for the Bobcats.

Charlotte cut it to 57-42 in the third quarter after a pair of driving layups from Sessions. The Jazz responded with a 9-0 run, capped by Kanter's jumper, to make it 64-42 with 2:24 left in the quarter. Utah pushed it to a game-high 32-point lead when Carroll sank a jumper with 1:19 remaining to make it 96-64.

NOTES: Charlotte's nine first-quarter points were the fewest scored by any Jazz opponent this season. . Both Foye and Millsap were at the hospital on Thursday as their wives each delivered baby daughters, Pilar Foye and Paular Millsap. . Utah had a 31-7 edge in second-chance points and a 30-2 edge in fast-break points.

Enes Kanter (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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