HOUSTON — Last time San Antonio visited Utah, EnergySolutions Arena rocked, whistles blew, debris flew, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was tossed and the Spurs notched a Game 4 win en route their Western Conference finals series victory.

It's all history as far as Sloan is concerned, however, as his club prepares to play host tonight to the defending NBA champs.

"That's all behind us," he said.

Asked Sunday, in fact, about the wild Game 4, the Jazz coach suggested he only wishes that it serves one purpose.

"Hopefully," he said, "the experience of not being able to beat that team would be the thing that I would think was really critical."

Beyond that, Sloan just wants his Jazz to "respect them, come and play as hard as you can against them, and know that they did win the championship and they have all those championships over there."

"Some day," he added, "you've got try to break that. But they're not gonna give it to you. You've got to work for it."

And while respect for the Spurs does seem omnipresent in the Jazz lockerroom — when Utah lost to them earlier this season, it marked the 16th straight regular-season loss in San Antonio for Sloan's club — it's not as if fear is a factor.

"Every team in this league gets up to play them," forward Carlos Boozer said after the Jazz's win at Houston at Sunday night, "and we're gonna be no different.

"We feel," Boozer added, "like we have a team that can compete with them."

HART OUT; PRICE PRAISED: Jazz point guard Jason Hart, who missed his first game of the season due to injury on Sunday, is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today because of inflammation in his lower back.

The Jazz are calling Hart "doubtful" for tonight's game against the Spurs, though it's thought to be a day-to-day type injury.

Seldom-used No. 3 point guard Ronnie Price, meanwhile, logged 11 minutes behind starter Deron Williams on Sunday.

Playing 10-plus minutes for just the second time since November, the Utah Valley State product finished with three assists and six points on 2-of-3 field shooting.

"Ronnie did a nice job," Sloan said. "He scored a couple baskets, ran our offense pretty well for us and got the ball where it's supposed to go."

Before the game, Sloan commended Price — who hails from the Houston area — for the way he's handled playing so infrequently.

"It's hard to play three point guards. There's no way around it," the Jazz coach said. "Somebody has to sit, and he's been the guy that's done that. But his work habit hasn't changed. He's been a terrific guy."

FAMILY TIES: Jazz swingman Kyle Korver's younger brother Klayton Korver hit 7-of-8 from 3-point range in Drake's win over Northern Iowa on Saturday and became just the second player in Drake history to make more than 200 career trey tries.

BIRTHDAY PARTY: In celebration of the Jazz mascot's 15th "birthday," the first 10,000 fans arriving at EnergySolutions Arena for Wednesday night's game against the New York Knicks will receive a free 40-minute Bear highlight video. Mascots from five other teams — Milwaukee, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix and Detroit — also will entertain.

MISC.: With Houston center Yao Ming out Sunday with a respiratory infection, Luis Scola made his first NBA start and finished with 18 points in 40 minutes ... Steve Novak's 10 points — all coming in the third quarter — were a career-high for the Rockets sub ... Ex-Jazz guard Kirk Snyder was healthy but inactive Sunday, and has appeared in just nine games for the Rockets this season.

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com