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Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category

>Basketball Definitely Is Not Baseball, But….

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My sympathies are with the Utah Jazz because I lived in Utah and watched 
them and the Utah Stars in the old ABA League before them. I still love to 
watch Utah sports – whether it’s the University Football, basketball, or baseball 
team (the latter of which on which I played for three seasons).
Baseball is a much better sport than basketball, but oh, what the heck. I still love 
those Jazz. I hated to see the legend Jerry Sloan quit mid-season like he did – on 
a losing streak. That definitely isn’t Sloan-esque. But there is a lot about his departure 
we don’t know about. It could have something to do with Derek Williams and/or the 
new owner of the Jazz. I know if Larry Miller had still been alive and running things, it 
would all be different.
Good luck to Ty Corbin, a former Jazz and University of Utah B-ball player, 
and a good one.
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Steve Nash(notes) .
He and the Phoenix Suns were ready.
Nash had 18 points and 10 assists to lift the Suns over the Jazz 95-83 on 
Friday night, spoiling the debut of new Utah coach Ty Corbin.
“The energy in the building was big and we knew something was going to happen,
” Nash said. “They obviously felt inspired to win for their new coach and we just
 had to weather the storm.”
Nash scored 13 of his 18 points in the second 
half as the Suns sizzled and the Jazz fell flat after 
taking a 15-point lead in the first. The Suns outs
cored the Jazz 51-27 over the final two quarters 
and won going away.
“It was very emotional to start the game and we played 
off of that, but eventually it ran out,” Paul Millsap(notes) said. 
“Mentally, the guys were drained. It’s been a tough few 
days with the losses and what happened with coach on 
top of that.”
Sloan was a fixture on Utah’s bench for 26 years, 23 as a 
head coach—the longest active tenure in major American 
professional sports before he abruptly retired Thursday.
“It was weird and different when I looked to the bench 
and expected Coach Sloan to call a play,” Millsap said.
The Hall of Famer is the third-winningest coach in NBA 
history with a record of 1,221-803. Corbin is still looking 
for his first as a head coach at any level.
“We ran out of gas,” Corbin said. “In the second half, we 
just got away from everything we were doing.”
Deron Williams(notes) and CJ Miles(notes) each scored 19 points, 
but the short-handed Jazz were out of sync and have 
dropped 11 of 15.
Some said a clash with Williams was to blame for 
Sloan’s departure, but Sloan said he merely lost the 
energy needed to coach in his famously intense manner. 
When Williams, who openly challenged Sloan at times 
this season, was introduced before the game, loud cheers 
were mixed with a measure of boos.
“Maybe I feel a little more pressure now,” Williams said. 
“Do I care what the fans think of me? Yeah, I’d be lying if 
I didn’t. I don’t want them to think I ran a Hall of Fame coach 
out. But I can’t get caught up in that anymore. … They 
can choose who they want to believe.”
Meanwhile, the Suns (26-25), who have won four straight 
against Utah, are headed the other direction. Phoenix 
moved above .500 for the first time since Dec. 7 with its 
sixth win in seven games.
“When things weren’t pretty for us, we had guys step up 
for us,” Nash said. “It may not be in our mentality that 
defense is going to win us games, but we’ve been playing 
that way the last three weeks and defense has us winning.”
Corbin, a former Jazz player in the 1990s who has been 
an assistant coach since 2004, received a sustained ovation as he walked into the arena and 
took his place in front of Utah’s bench. Before the game, the new coach acknowledged he 
was nervous and joked he might call Sloan at halftime for some advice.
But he and the Jazz were fine in the first half, and led 56-44 at the break.
The Suns roared back in the third quarter behind Robin Lopez(notes), who had 11 points and f
ive rebounds in the period. Grant Hill’s(notes) layup capped a 14-5 run that gave Phoenix 
a 66-63 lead.
Hakim Warrick(notes) scored 16 and Marcin Gortat(notes) had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“The key was energy,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said. “Hakim and Marcin gave 
us that. They helped turn around the hustle plays and made a big difference.”
When Andrei Kirilenko(notes) twisted his right ankle in a scramble for the ball in the 
second quarter and limped to the locker room, the Jazz were down to nine healthy 
players. Raja Bell(notes) sat out with a strained left calf andRonnie Price(notes) did not 
dress due to a sprained toe, while Francisco Elson(notes) played with an inflamed knee.
The Jazz appeared energized from the start and raced out to a 13-2 lead. Corbin 
sat in his seat most of the time, rising only to call a play or remind a player of a 
defensive assignment.
“We were all high on emotion,” Hayward said. “We were all into it and wanted to 
play for Coach Ty, but defensively we didn’t get stops and we couldn’t get
 into transition.”
Notes: Former Jazz star Karl Malone sat courtside and told reporters 
before the game he was shocked that Sloan abruptly resigned 
because “Coach don’t quit nothing.” … “Come Home Sloan” and 
“Can’t We Just Kiss and Make Up” were some of the signs lamenting 
Sloan’s departure. … Kirilenko missed three games in early February 
with a sprained left ankle. … Hill and Vince Carter(notes) went over to the 
Jazz bench to offer congratulations to Corbin before the opening tip.
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