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News » Jazz need to win during homestand

Jazz need to win during homestand

Jazz need to win during homestand The Jazz have five games still to go in a six-game homestand that continues with Tuesday night's visit from Oklahoma City, and they're three games into a favorable stretch with 11-of-14 being played at EnergySolutions Arena. They've won a season-high three straight, including Saturday night's overtime victory over Detroit. And, at 7-6, they're above .500 for the first time in the still young 2009-10 NBA season. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, however, is quick to warn against Thanksgiving-week complacency.

"There's no guarantee of anything," he said. None of the Jazz's next three opponents ? the Thunder, the Chicago Bulls and the Portland Trail Blazers ? has a losing record, and Sloan knows it. Moreover, the Jazz already have lost two games at home this season, to Houston and Sacramento, and these days the comfort that EnergySolutions should provide isn't exactly guaranteed. "People think because you get home you're automatically supposed to win every single game," said Sloan, whose Jazz also face Memphis and Indiana to close out the homestand. "And teams coming in here, they have another idea." NO EXCUSE: With starting center Mehmet Okur battling flu-like symptoms for the last three games, starting point guard Deron Williams missing two prior to that while tending to an ill daughter, combo guard Ronnie Price dealing with a sprained big toe, swingmen C.J. Miles (thumb) and Kyle Korver (knee) both still rehabbing following surgery and veteran forward Matt Harpring back home in Atlanta and likely forced into retirement by chronic injuries, the Jazz have played their last five straight games with just nine players. Okur could be back Tuesday, but Miles, Korver, Price probably will not be, and Harpring mostly certainly will not. Sloan, however, refuses to let the Jazz use all that as a crutch going forward. And he definitely doesn't think the shorthanded situation has caught up yet with the Jazz , even if they did have to go to OT to beat a sub.-500 Pistons that was handed its fourth straight loss by Utah. "It shouldn't," Sloan said. "I don't know why it would catch up; we've only played (13) games. "If they ( Jazz players) are going to be (affected) ... then they better get in better shape," the Jazz coach added. "It's not college, and they're not being redshirted." Besides, Sloan said, "Players like to play, and it's easier to play with less guys, I think, because they know they're going to be on the floor a little bit longer, and they can play a little bit more relaxed." BROW BEATER? Paul Millsap's face got a bit bloodied against the Pistons, and he had five stitches sewn into his right eyebrow in the training room during the second quarter. "I got hit," Millsap said. "Caught a shot." That part he knows. But he wouldn't make a very good witness when it comes to details of the incident. "I don't know who did it," Millsap admitted. The backup power forward returned to play after halftime, and didn't hold any hard feelings for getting whacked just above the eye while under the basket. "Things like that happen out there," he said. Contributing: Jody Genessy e-mail:

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Added: November 24, 2009


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