Jazz notes: Carroll-Pierce rivalry is ‘a summer thing’
Published: February 26, 2013 02:21PM
Updated: February 26, 2013 11:37PM
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Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Jazz small forward DeMarre Carroll (3) knocks the ball form the hands of Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34), in NBA action at the EnergySolutions Arena, Monday, February 25, 2013.

After Boston’s Paul Pierce burned the Jazz for 26 points in Monday night’s 110-107 overtime win over Utah, he suggested he’d prevailed in a personal rivalry with DeMarre Carroll.

Pierce did not explain, however.

“I’ll let you ask him,” he told the Boston Globe.

Prior to Tuesday morning’s practice, Carroll smiled slightly when asked about Pierce’s comment.

“It’s just a summer thing,” Carroll said, explaining he often works out with Kevin Garnett and Pierce in Los Angeles during the offseason.

“I’ve been killing him in the summer, and he said I was fouling. Once we get in a real game, he said, ‘I’m going to be able to get what I want.’ ”

Against the Jazz, Pierce missed a 20-footer as time expired in regulation, but he scored seven straight points in overtime to lead the Celtics to victory.

“He had the refs on his side so, what he said before, it came to life,” said Carroll, who noted his rivalry with Pierce and Garnett is not fueled by animosity.

“They really love me and really speak highly of me. They think of me like their little brother. But when we step on the court, I ain’t friends.”

Williams faces Hawks

The Jazz hope to snap a two-game losing streak Wednesday night against Atlanta.

Because he missed the Hawks’ 103-95 win over Utah on Jan. 11 with a sore knee, it will be the first time Marvin Williams faces his former teammates.

The Jazz traded Devin Harris to the Hawks in exchange for Williams last July.

Asked about playing against his former teammates, Williams shrugged.

“I haven’t thought too much about it,” he said. “When we went down to Atlanta, I was more excited just to see everybody. [Wednesday] night will be just a regular game to me.”

Williams said his closest friends on the Hawks are Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague.

“I was there for so long, I’m real close to all those guys,” he said. “But we’ve lost two in a row now, so I just want to help us get a win.”

Korver returns

Along with Harris, who scored 24 points in Atlanta’s earlier win over the Jazz, Kyle Korver will return to Utah.

He spent three years with the Jazz before departing after the 2009-10 season.

In 180 games for Utah, Korver averaged 8.7 points. He remains ninth on the team’s all-time list for 3-pointers with 235.

“He’s a pleasant guy,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “He cares about where he lives. He’s a giving person who gives as much as he can to be a part of [the community].

“He’s a tremendous teammate, too. He’s easy to work with — from a coaching standpoint — and he understands who he is. He’s a shooter who does everything he can to get shots in his spots and help you win.”

New rotation?

Against Boston, Corbin started Earl Watson over Jamaal Tinsley at point guard and played Alec Burks down the stretch.

“I thought Earl created pace for us, other than the third quarter, when we didn’t have the pace we wanted,” Corbin said. “But I thought the beginning of the game was real good.”

Still, Corbin plans to “revisit” his point guard rotation before facing the Hawks.

luhm@sltrib.com