Deron Williams and Jazz chief executive Greg Miller might have to agree to disagree about the practicality of the team hosting regular-season Sunday games, but Miller made no small goodwill gesture this weekend.
Although Miller opted not to attend Sunday's Game 4, preferring to stay home with his family, he offered his second-row tickets to the person who made the biggest donation to Williams' Point of Hope Foundation by noon Saturday.
"I've already thanked him a couple times," Williams said. "He didn't have to do that, but I really appreciate it. He's really been supportive of my foundation, always asking me if there's anything he can do to help. He's been great in that aspect."
The Jazz do not schedule regular-season Sunday home games out of respect to the area's LDS Church leanings, but have no similar control in the playoffs. Including Game 4 against the Nuggets, they have now hosted 22 Sunday home playoff games.
Miller has said that the Jazz would struggle to sell out regular-season Sunday games unless they were playing one of the NBA's marquee opponents while Williams has argued it puts the Jazz at a competitive disadvantage with a more-compressed schedule.
Williams, who will host his fourth-annual charity golf event in July, said he has yet to decide on this year's beneficiary but named Shriners Hospital as a possible candidate. The Jazz and Williams both were still waiting for word on what the highest donation was.
Run of the mill
Paul Millsap 's 22-point, 19-rebound effort in Game 3 only grows bigger when considering that over the past 40 years, only one player has totaled at least 20 points and 19 rebounds off the bench in a playoff game.
That was Dallas' Roy Tarpley , with 21 points and 20 rebounds in a May 27, 1988, Western Conference finals victory against the Lakers. "Most importantly, we won that game, so it's not in vain," Millsap said of his accomplishment.
The Jazz's play in this series, even without injured starters Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur , has been viewed as a positive reflection on coach Jerry Sloan , who stresses playing tough and playing together in the face of all obstacles.
"He just wants you to play hard and lay it all out there," Williams said. "I think we've done that for him. I think we've competed, and even though we're a little shorthanded, we're still competing hard and I think that's why we're winning basketball games right now."
Before he came to the Jazz, Kyrylo Fesenko played in his biggest game in Ukraine as a 19-year-old with Cherkasy against the Russian team CSK VVS Samara, he said. How did that compare with starting a pivotal Game 4 in the playoffs?
"Not even close," Fesenko said, repeating the words. "If I thought that that game was really important, I can't even compare it to tonight's game."
Kirilenko will take the next step in returning from his strained left calf when he begins court work today. Kirilenko did some running in a swimming pool Saturday and was encouraged that he didn't experience any soreness.