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Utah Jazz notebook: Team doesn't expect big home-court advantage

Published: Saturday, May 8 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — For the Jazz's next two games, at least, perhaps "Staples" should somehow be worked into the game of EnergySolutions Arena.

That's the feeling for some when it comes to home games in Utah against the Los Angeles Lakers, who fill the Jazz's home building with more opponent colors than any other visiting NBA team.

"There's a lot of Laker fans here," Jazz swingman C.J. Miles said Thursday, "and they let you know it if you see them around town."

Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko compares the phenomenon to games in Europe, where fans frequently travel in packs to away sites.

"We live pretty close to L.A.," he said. "It's a short flight."

"They're like the (NFL's Pittsburgh) Steelers," point guard Deron Williams added.

"They travel well."

Williams expects a typically rowdy Jazz crowd for tonight's Game 3 of Utah's playoff series with L.A., but he fears the defending NBA-champion Lakers — who've won one game in EnergySolutions each of the past two postseasons — won't be bothered by the noise.

Even if it is significantly louder than in Staples Center, their cavernous home arena.

"They've won here before; they've won here (during the regular season, in February) without Kobe (Bryant)," he said. "I don't think that bothers them.

"They're a championship team," Williams added. "They've won on the road, no matter where they play. So I don't think they're gonna be intimidated."

BIG DEAL: A first-time All-Star this season who was named Thursday to the All-NBA Second Team, Williams on Friday said he thinks All-NBA teams are a bigger deal than All-Star selections.

"It's (based on) the whole season," he said.

COACHING CAROUSEL: Ex-Jazz point guard and current ESPN/ABC commentator Mark Jackson and Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau became the latest candidates to formally interview for the head-coaching vacancy in New Orleans, joining Dallas assistant Dwane Casey and ex-NBA head coaches Avery Johnson and Mike Fratello, ESPN.com and the New Orleans Times-Picayune both reported late Thursday night.

Utah assistant Tyrone Corbin remains a candidate as well, as do several others, but Corbin has said won't interview with the Hornets as long as the Jazz remain alive in NBA postseason play.

HE SAID IT: Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, on Bryant: "Kobe Bryant has somebody go after him every night. He doesn't get a day off. That's what great players run into. They have to step up and play every day, and not just once in a while.

"That's the thing that's made him just a great player."

MISC.: Fans attending tonight's game will receive a "Bring The Noise" T-shirt and a personal noisemaker. ... According to FanSnap.com, about 400 tickets for tonight's game were for sale online Friday — starting in the $40 range, but averaging $200. ... If a Game 5 is needed in the Jazz-Lakers series, the NBA announced Friday, it will start Wednesday either at 7 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. (MT) — 7 if no Game 5 is needed in the Orlando-Milwaukee series, 8:30 p.m. if one is.

Either way, it would be cable-televised on TNT.

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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