Jazz notes: Sloan shrugs off milestone as he ties Riley
Cleveland • Jazz coach Jerry Sloan simply did not care.
Asked for his thoughts about tying Pat Riley for third on the NBA's all-time coaching wins list at 1,210, the constantly focused and always-direct Sloan offered a near no-comment to a reporter when initially asked about the accomplishment.
"I don't have any thoughts on it," said Sloan, who matched Riley courtesy of Utah's 101-90 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.
Sloan proceeded to budge just a little. But rather than talk about himself, he once again moved the spotlight outward. Sloan said that he did not concern himself with accolades as a player, and he has not coached with fame in mind. If anyone deserves recognition, it is Jazz assistants Phil Johnson, Tyrone Corbin and Scott Layden, as well as his past sideline companions.
"Obviously, I like to win," Sloan said. "But I couldn't win without the coaches I've had with me that's the main thing. And when you talk about coach of the year and that sort of thing, I've always felt it should be staff rather than coach."
A heart-to-heart conversation between Utah guard Raja Bell and his father played a key role in Bell's breakout against the Cavaliers as he recorded season highs in points (19) and made 3-pointers (five).
But Bell also had an important conversation with his wife prior to shooting down Cleveland. As the 11-year veteran struggled through the early part of the season, he was worried that a 2009-10 season lost to injuries had removed his patented long-range touch.
"I was concerned that it wasn't coming back," Bell said.
The guard's shot eventually returned, highlighted by the four made 3s and 14 points he poured in Dec. 6 during a victory against Memphis.
His touch disappeared again, though, as he battled a groin strain that forced him to miss three consecutive games from Dec. 10-13.
But this time, he knew that his lost stroke was just out of his reach.
"It was easier the second time around this season than it was those first eight, nine games when I couldn't find it," Bell said. "I was happy it only took me a couple [games]. Hopefully I'll keep shooting it well."
Jazz forward C.J. Miles continues to play a major role in his team's success. Miles topped Utah in points (22) against the Cavaliers, and ranked second in made 3s (four) and assists (five).
Miles is averaging 14.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in his past five contests.
"I'm taking my time and being aggressive," Miles said.
Okur is day to day
Jazz center Mehmet Okur (sprained right ankle) was inactive against the Cavaliers. He is listed as day to day. Okur suffered the sprain during pregame warm-ups. He made his season debut Friday against New Orleans after missing Utah's first 26 games of the season following left Achilles tendon surgery. He averaged 2.5 points, 0.5 rebounds and 12 minutes during two contests, shooting 22 percent from the field.