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Utah Jazz notebook: Miles regaining legs, confidence

Published: Saturday, Dec. 12 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

Utah Jazz forward C.J. Miles last season.    (Mike Terry, Deseret News) Utah Jazz forward C.J. Miles last season. (Mike Terry, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — If it wasn't for the short fadeaway C.J. Miles hit in the final minute of Wednesday's road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Jazz would have had their worst-scoring quarter ever with just four points.

Instead, the record of five — vs. the Lakers in the second quarter of a 1981 game — still stands.

As it is, though, the six they had in the fourth still is the franchise's worst-ever fourth quarter.

Miles, though, doesn't want to hear anything of it — even as the Lakers visit tonight for a rematch at EnergySolutions Arena.

"In my mind, it's not even there any more," the reserve swingman said after Thursday's win over Orlando.

"I've gotten to the point where I've got a short memory about everything," Miles added. "And I had to, because when I was first in the league I would let stuff bother me for days and days — because I knew I didn't have much of a chance to make mistakes. But now I don't play that way any more."

Miles has played just five games since returning from surgery to repair a ruptured ligament on his left, shooting thumb — and both his numbers and confidence have risen with each.

He was scoreless in his first game back, but he scored eight at Minnesota, 10 against San Antonio, 14 in the Lakers game and a season-high 22 vs. Orlando.

Miles made 6-of-12 shots from the field in L.A. and was 9-for-17 — including 4-for-7 while logging all 12 minutes in the decisive fourth quarter — against the Magic.

"Obviously, C.J. came up with a big game," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who has been starting rookie Wesley Matthews in Miles' old spot at small forward. "We needed some big baskets down the stretch; he was able to knock some down and made some great plays for us."

Getting back in playing shape has helped, Miles suggested.

"My legs are getting back under me, confidence is growing," Miles said. "The fact I've been able to play and be aggressive and be able to make some shots early ... has helped a lot also.

"Guys are helping me out, too. Those guys are setting screens for me, (point guard) Deron (Williams) is looking for me if I get open looks. Those guys have shown confidence in me, which has helped me progress also.

"It's not just about me," he added, "because I wouldn't do the things I do without Deron, Booz (Carlos Boozer), Paul (Millsap), Ronnie (Brewer). I'm pretty much playing off of them."

NUMBERS DOWN: According to CBSSports.com, NBA attendance in the first quarter of this season compared to last has dropped 3.7 percent and 21 teams — including the Jazz — have experienced a drop in net gate receipts.

Jazz receipts reportedly have fallen from $974,551 per home game to $888,478.

CBSSports.com NBA writer Ken Berger obtained a document revealing the figures, which also shows the number of teams netting at least $1 million per home game has dwindled from 12 to seven.

Jazz attendance has plummeted this season as well, with five announced crowds of fewer than 18,100 and just two sellouts among their 13 home games so far this season.

The Jazz announced sellouts of 19,911 for all but one of their 41 home games each of the past two seasons.

COOL SHIRTS: Jazz swingman Kyle Korver and his brother Klayton have launched a Web site selling T-shirts online, seerclothing.com.

According to the site, Seer is a non-profit clothing line with earnings pegged for "underprivileged children and those in need."

HE SAID IT: TNT analyst Doug Collins, on the Jazz: "They need a spark. Last year right before the All-Star break they beat the Lakers, won 12 straight and didn't lose for a month. They haven't had any of those runs. ... They need something to jumpstart their season. They are just muddling along right around .500 right now."

INJURY REPORT: The Jazz are calling Andrei Kirilenko (strained back) and Kyrylo Fesenko (stomach virus) "game-time" decisions for tonight, and both Korver (arthroscopic knee surgery) and Ronnie Price (toe/foot) "out."

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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