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Utah Jazz notebook: Assistant trainer laughing to the Jazz players' banks

Published: Wednesday, July 8 2015 12:58 a.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Days later, Utah Jazz assistant trainer Brian Zettler still smiles but will not comment about getting called for a technical foul Saturday at Portland.

The team's equipment manager is about the only one on the team not talking about it, though.

"Yeah, that was funny," a chuckling Jazz point guard Deron Williams said Monday morning. "I don't know what B.Z. said, but he says some pretty crazy things, so I'm surprised this is his first one."

A couple other factors made this technical story surprising as well.

For one thing, Zettler was sitting on the baseline by the end of the Jazz bench when, according to Andrei Kirilenko, the well-liked trainer told official Bill Kennedy, "Call the foul!" No cussing, vulgar or derogatory remarks were made.

Kennedy did call a foul — it just happened to be of the "T" variety. No warning was given, either. And, initially, the veteran ref assessed the Russian small forward with the infraction that comes with a $2,000 penalty.

A visibly stunned Kirilenko pleaded his case and won — for himself, at least.

Recanted a laughing Williams: "A.K. was like, 'I didn't say anything.' ... And then (the ref) started asking what (Zettler's) name was and B.Z. wouldn't tell him his name."

They didn't get his name right on the play-by-play sheet or box score, instead crediting an innocent head trainer Gary Briggs with the technical. That has since been rectified, but Jazz players vow to help Zettler with the hefty fine headed his way.

"Don't worry," Kirilenko said. "We've got him covered."

Williams credits the incident for eventually helping to spark the Jazz to their come-from-behind 103-94 win. C.J. Miles' five fourth-quarter 3-pointers didn't hurt, either.

"It was good. It ignited us," Williams said. "Coach (Jerry) Sloan wasn't there to get one, so he took it upon himself to get one. It changed momentum."

Sloan wasn't there to see it first-hand because of a family funeral, but the Jazz coach didn't fault Zettler for essentially costing the Jazz a point.

"I don't have a problem with it," Sloan said. "At least he's interested ... and into the game."

Perhaps a little too much, if you ask a certain ref.

WAITING TO SHAVE: Kyrylo Fesenko's face hasn't felt a razor since he received four stitches in his chin last Monday against Oklahoma City. He was happy to get rid of the sutures, which came out Monday night. The stubble will be next to go.

"I'm going to shave 'It,'" Fesenko said.

By the way, "It" isn't a pronoun in this case. It is a nickname based off the furry Adams Family character, given to him by his girlfriend who is not a fan of his beard.

Neither is Fesenko: "I hate It."

His facial growth, that is, not the character.

(And apologies to those who thought this note was going to be about 20-year-old Gordon Hayward.)

OH SO CLOSE: C.J. Miles didn't realize how many 3-pointers he'd hit Saturday night until he was informed after the game. Things might have been different had Miles known he'd hit seven 3-pointers, leaving him one shy of Jeff Hornacek's team record.

Miles later jokingly told Hornacek: "I wish I would've known. I would've got another one up."

Had Miles done that he would hold another record by himself. His 10 attempts tied Bryon Russell's franchise mark for threes launched in one game.

"It was good just to be able to hit a couple of shots in a row from 3 especially," Miles said, "because I've been trying to find it."

Miles found it again Monday from everywhere on the court. Though he only hit 1-of-3 treys, he scored 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting in the 94-83 win over the Kings.

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