By J.A. Adande
Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer, who missed the team's final regular season game because of a strained oblique muscle on his right side, said he will play in the team's first playoff game on Saturdayagainst the Denver Nuggets, "No matter what."
Boozer suffered the injury Tuesday night during Utah's game at Golden State when he attempted a spin move and felt a twinge. He ran back downcourt but couldn't even get off the ground for a rebound attempt, then grabbed his right side.
Boozer came out of the game and then didn't play at all against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Without their top scorer and rebounder (19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game), the Jazz loss to Phoenix, 100-86, and fell to the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference playoffs. Eight days earlier they held the No. 2 seed after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, but lost it by falling to Houston the next night.
Although the Jazz have improved their play away from Energy Solutions Arena, they are still vastly better on their home court. They finished 32-9 at home this season and 21-20 on the road.