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News » Jazz enjoying a respite from rigors of NBA travel

Jazz enjoying a respite from rigors of NBA travel

Jazz enjoying a respite from rigors of NBA travel After beating Memphis on Monday for their third consecutive victory and sixth in seven games, the Jazz are off until ending a six-game homestand Friday against Indiana. They didn't practice Tuesday, but plan to this morning and Thursday morning. And by Thursday night, they will have gone a rare two straight weeks without a road game ? a welcome respite from the rigors of NBA travel, indeed.

"It's been great," point guard Deron Williams said. "It's good to come home," he added, "especially when you're struggling a little bit." Also in the midst of playing 11-of-14 at EnergySolutions Arena, the Jazz were 4-6 before that particular stretch began. Now, they're 10-7 ? and rolling. "They're playing really well," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said after Monday's game, one in which the Grizzlies trailed by as many as 32 before eventually falling by 27. "They've destroyed couple of teams in their last games, and we just got added to that." It was Utah's third straight outing, along with ones against Chicago and Portland, in which it has built a lead of at least 25 HE LIKES IT: He hasn't always enjoyed playing off the ball. But, beckoning back to his days alongside ex- Jazz guard Dee Brown at the University of Illinois, Williams really is taking a liking lately to having several minutes each game for running off screens while rookie backup Eric Maynor plays the point. "It just frees me up a little bit," Williams said. "I can come off some screens, and not have to create. You know, in the past it's been me having to create something . . . and it's not really the kind of shot I want to take. "(Now) I'm getting a lot more shots in rhythm within the offense, which is a lot better." THROWBACKS: As part of the NBA Hardwood Classics Nights program, the Jazz on Friday will wear for the first time this season throwback uniforms that originally debuted during the 1979-80 season ? the franchise's first in Utah, when Tom Nissalke was head coach and Adrian Dantley topped Pistol Pete Maravich for team-high scoring honors. The green jerseys, featuring the franchise's original music note logo in yellow and white trim, were worn during the 1980s as an alternate road uniform. Matching shorts feature the secondary music note logo, also in yellow with white trim. The Jazz will wear the uniforms for 10 other games this season: Dec. 9 at the Lakers and Dec. 12 at home against the Lakers, Jan. 9 at Dallas, Jan. 14 vs. Cleveland, Jan. 20 at San Antonio, Jan. 29 against Sacramento, Feb. 17 at New Orleans, Feb. 27 vs. Houston, March 17 vs. Minnesota and March 24 at Toronto. While supplies last, the Jazz's Fanzz team store is offering two tickets to a home game this season when $100 or more is spent on Classics merchandise ? including jerseys, hats and pennants. HE SAID IT: Coach Jerry Sloan, on the Jazz : "I worry about what we're doing every time, because I have confidence in us that we can be a very good Basketball team if we can continue to play together and try to help each other defensively." MISC.: The Jazz fell just shy Monday of shooting 60 percent or better from the field in three straight games, hitting 58.4 percent vs. Memphis. It would have marked the first time in franchise history for the feat, and the first time since Indiana in 1994 that any NBA team has done it. . . . Jazz swingman C.J. Miles still plans to practice this morning, and if he does it would mark his first since Oct. 7 surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his left, shooting-hand thumb. If all goes well, he could play his first game of the season on Friday. . . . On Thursday at Hunter Elementary and West Valley Elementary, Jazz guard Ronnie Price and his wife Jenni plan to present checks from the Ronnie Price Foundation to help each school begin afterschool programs. e-mail:

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Added: December 3, 2009


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