Boozer off the bench?
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After arriving in town Saturday, Carlos Boozer headed to Tulane for an hour-and-a-half workout with assistant coaches Scott Layden and Tyrone Corbin. He then bounced back Sunday with 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Hornets.

Yet Boozer still sat the entire fourth quarter in favor of Paul Millsap, with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan suggesting before the game that he has considered starting Millsap and bringing Boozer off the bench as he makes a slow return from knee surgery.

"Yeah, I think about it every day," Sloan said. "We need guys, and maybe Boozer will get himself together a little bit more coming off the bench. That's something we're thinking about, but we've got to try to win the game today starting the way we are."

Boozer was unequivocal about his preference -- "I'd rather start, period," he said -- as well as his desire to be on the floor in the fourth quarter.

"It's the worst thing in the world, especially when you're a dude like me," Boozer said. "But it was fun to see us play that way. We moved the ball so well, we scored, we won by a huge margin.

"It was exciting as a basketball fan to watch our team play so great in the game, and that's the most important thing is us winning right now."

Boozer had gone a combined 8-for-32 in the Jazz's losses to Denver and Minnesota but was 5-for-10 Sunday. With the playoffs less than two weeks away, he was asked if he thought he would be close to 100 percent by then.

"Absolutely, I feel like I am," Boozer said. "I felt great tonight and I'm looking forward to the next game."

He had a heat pack on his left knee in the locker room before the game, but said he was doing so just to keep the knee warm and loose. "I'm going to take every precaution to make sure it's ready," Boozer said.

Sloan, meanwhile, compared Boozer's slow return to that of Deron Williams, who was limited for months after his return from a sprained ankle that cost him 13 games.

"We're in the same boat," Sloan said, "but people panic because Boozer's contract supposedly is up and people want to talk about that."

Briefly

With C.J. Miles out with a dislocated left index finger, Andrei Kirilenko started and finished with 16 points in 32 minutes. ... The Jazz will head into Wednesday's showdown with Dallas having gone 2-12 all-time at AmericanAirlines Center. ... No matter what happens Wednesday, the Jazz will claim the season tiebreaker, having beaten the Mavericks twice in Utah and owning a 32-15 conference record, compared to 25-22 for Dallas.

rsiler@sltrib.com