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Utah Jazz: Quirky plays can't detour Jazz

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 6 2009 12:17 a.m. MST

A couple offbeat plays in the Jazz's win over Golden State on Monday night warrant explanation.

One came in the fourth quarter, when coach Jerry Sloan — not exactly one known to call an overabundance of timeouts — signaled for a quick t.o. that negated an odd-man Jazz break.

The reason he called it, Sloan said afterward, was because forward Andrei Kirilenko was injured.

"He already had told me to take him out of the ballgame," Sloan said, "and I was trying to get Ronnie Brewer in.

"If somebody's hurt, I'm gonna get them out of the game," the Jazz coach added. "It's only two points. If I win the ballgame or lose the ball, I'm not gonna worry about it."

Kirilenko sustained a bruised left knee, but a Jazz spokesman said the sixth man "should be fine" for Utah's next game Wednesday.

The other bizarre play late in the first half, when almost everyone on the floor stopped because they heard a whistle.

Guard Kyle Korver kept going, though, and turned a Jazz stop on one end into a dunk on the other.

"Oh, I heard the whistle," Korver said. "I was standing around like, 'What's going on?' And everyone's looking around, and I saw the referee, and he was like this (shrugging) so when I saw that I just took off."

Referees were asked for an explanation afterward, but crew chief Bennett Salvatore refused to give one to a pool reporter.

It's believed the whistle, though, came from the crowd — and officials had no choice but to allow play to continue.

HE SAID IT: Jazz power forward Paul Millsap, on playing his second straight game with a brace on his injured left knee: "It's still bothering me. It's gonna bother me for a while."

HE SAID IT II: Millsap, on Golden State's quick-fire style: "We like it when they come down and jack up shots. It starts our offense."

MILESTONE MANIA: Jazz radio play-by-play announcer Hot Rod Hundley will call his 3,000th game for the team on Wednesday night, when Utah plays host to New Orleans — the franchise's original home before moving to Utah.

Hundley, the only member of the original Jazz staff who has worked for the franchise for all of its 35 seasons, has missed only 14 games since starting as the team's radio/TV simulcast voice.

DECISION DEFERRED: The Jazz have been considering sending big man Kyrylo Fesenko and/or shooting guard Morris Almond to the Flash so they could play in two D-League Showcase games this week in Orem, but general manager Kevin O'Connor said Monday night that that decision has been deferred until today.

Both Fesenko and Almond were healthy but inactive Monday.

MISC.: Warriors starting small forward Stephen Jackson strained his right hamstring on the final play of the first half and did not return after the break. ... Swingman Corey Maggette — who once signed a contract offer sheet with the Jazz, only to have it matched by the Los Angeles Clippers — returned for Golden State on Monday after missing 15 straight games with a strained hamstring. He finished with 23 points in 31 minutes. ... Golden State on Monday made former Charlotte Bobcats forward Jermareo Davidson the first player to sign a 10-day contact this season. Davidson, a University of Alabama product who worked out for the Jazz prior to the 2007 NBA Draft, was called up from Idaho of the D-League. ... The Warriors on Monday also waived rookie DeMarcus Nelson, a guard from Duke who was signed as a free agent after averaging 12.5 points for Golden State in last July's Rocky Mountain Revue summer league at Salt Lake Community College. ... In the crowd: ex-BYU and NBA big man Shawn Bradley, who played for Warriors head coach Don Nelson in Dallas, sitting in the front row.

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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