HOUSTON — Tickets to the Jazz's first two home playoff games later this month will go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, with prices starting as low as $12 per game.

Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, at the EnergySolutions Arena box office, online at www.utahjazz.com and by phone at (801) 325-7328.

It's unknown precisely when the Jazz's first two postseason games will be played, though as of now it's likeliest their opening-round opponent will be the same team they visit today — the Houston Rockets.

Tickets for potential future playoff games beyond the first two at home will go on sale at a later date, if warranted.

Last month, the Jazz sold 2,500 playoff tickets tied to the purchase of new 2007-08 season tickets, the team said in a news release Saturday.

SAGE ADVICE: He was discussing his own team, but after San Antonio beat Utah on Friday the Spurs' Bruce Bowen had some sage advice that the Jazz — losers of six straight road games — should heed.

"It's important for us to come out with a good effort each night, as far as trying to do things the right way — pass the ball, play defense, communication on the court," Bowen said. "These are things you want to do going into the playoffs, as compared to limping (in) ... and saying, 'We'll get it together once we start.

"It's not about turning on a light or turning it off. It's about preparing for it right now, so that once that time comes, you're prepared for whatever happens."

HE SAID IT: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, on the Jazz's starting backcourt: "(Deron) Williams and (Derek) Fisher are tough nuts."

HE SAID IT II: Popovich, on Jazz starting center Mehmet Okur: "I'd rather have him drive, create or make a good pass. We ... know what he can do from the 3."

ALUMNI UPDATE: New Orleans/Oklahoma City coach Byron Scott wants ex-Jazz swingman and Utah native Devin Brown to re-sign with the Hornets this offseason.

"I'd love to have him back, and you know me, I don't sugarcoat it," the San Antonio Express-News quoted Scott as having said earlier this week. "If I didn't want him back, I'd say, 'Well, we'll see.'"

Scott lauded Brown, who didn't fare well with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan during his one year in Utah last season.

"He helped save the season," Scott said of Brown, who joined the Hornets in late December. "He helped give us a chance to be in a position to still have a chance to make the playoffs.

"I love him for what he brings and the fact he's a good guy and deserves to be in this league."

ALUMNI UPDATE II, OOPS: An intended game-ending ball heave by ex-Jazz big man Michael Ruffin of the Wizards went awry Friday, landing in the hands of Toronto's Morris Peterson.

Peterson promptly hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to force overtime, leading to a Raptors win over Washington.

"My natural reaction was to just throw the ball in the air and let time run out, but I didn't get a good throw on it, and there was a little more time than I thought," Ruffin told the Washington Post. "When I threw it, it kind of slipped off my palm."

MISC.: Backup small forward Matt Harpring, who missed the Jazz's last two games due to a stomach virus that prompted a Wednesday hospital visit, flew Saturday to Houston from Utah as pre-planned and intends to play today. Harpring did not, however, make it to town in time for a morning practice ... The Jazz's Paul Millsap (pinkie finger avulsion fracture), Andrei Kirilenko (jammed thumb) and Gordan Giricek (bruised ribs) all practiced Saturday despite lingering injuries and plan to play today ... The Jazz's new theme slogan for this year's playoffs is "It's Electrifying!"


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