7:00 PM ET, December 20, 2010
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Jerry Sloan ties Pat Riley for 3rd on wins list as Jazz now 11-1 against East
CLEVELAND -- Jerry Sloan didn't boast about his latest win. It's not his style.
Anyway, he didn't brag about the previous 1,209, so he wasn't about to start.
Sloan moved into a tie with Pat Riley for the third-most coaching wins in NBA history on Monday night, climbing the chart as C.J. Miles scored 22 points and Paul Millsap and Raja Bell added 19 apiece to pace the Jazz to a 101-90 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sloan, Utah's coach since 1988, has matched Riley with 1,210 victories. Up next is Lenny Wilkens (1,332) and Don Nelson (1,335). During Sloan's long run, which began before Jazz rookie Gordon Hayward was born, there have been 234 coaching changes across the league.
In typical Sloan fashion, the win was just a win.
"I don't have any thoughts on it," Sloan said. "That's not how I ever played or how I've ever coached. Obviously, I like to win, but I couldn't win without the coaches I've had with me."
Deron Williams had 17 points and 10 assists as the Jazz improved to 11-1 against the Eastern Conference. Utah also won for the first time in Cleveland since 2004, a streak that was much easier to snap now that LeBron James is no longer around.
"They're a different team," Sloan said. "I wonder why?"
Daniel Gibson scored a career-high 29 for the Cavaliers, who have lost 11 of 12.
Sloan's tough-nosed mentality made him a feared player, and he used that same intensity and determination to become one of the game's most successful coaches. He's the only coach to win 1,000 games with one team, and is one of just three coaches -- Riley and Phil Jackson are the others -- to have more than 15 consecutive winning seasons.
He's still looking for his first championship ring, and he's got another team ready to make a run at one.
Cavs forward Antawn Jamison believes Sloan doesn't get his due.
"He's not flamboyant at all," Jamison said. "He just goes out there and you can just tell he enjoys coaching basketball. He's old school, man. That's what I like about him. He gets his point across. His players respect him and he's been doing it forever. You have to respect that.
"In our society, we overlook that steadiness. We want to know what's new or what's hip or something different. This guy has been doing it for a long time. I definitely think a lot of people overlook what he has accomplished as a coach. But once you're out there playing, you understand the importance of what he's done."
The night began ominously for the Jazz. Forward Mehmet Okur sprained his right ankle during pregame warmups and had to sit. Okur had only just returned after missing Utah's first 26 games following surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The Jazz didn't miss him.
Williams smoothly ran Utah's offense the way he always does. Millsap and Al Jefferson controlled the boards underneath and Bell made five 3-pointers as the Jazz had little trouble with an overmatched Cleveland team.
Leading by 12 after three, the Jazz scored two quick baskets to open the fourth and before long their lead was up to 20.
Jefferson added 13 rebounds, including four on the offensive end for the Jazz, who seemed to play volleyball around the rim on several possessions.
Mo Williams added 16 points and 10 assists for the Cavs, who have played with better energy of late but don't have the talent to stay with a team of Utah's caliber.
"Every little mistake we made, we paid for with either a wide-open 3 or a layup or a dunk," Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. "I thought we played hard, but it was still too many mistakes."
Deron Williams scored nine points and Millsap added seven in the third quarter, when the Jazz got whatever they wanted on offense. Williams scored seven in a 12-4 spurt that gave Utah a 76-64 lead entering the fourth.
The only thing that kept Cleveland close was its 3-point shooting. Gibson made consecutive 3-pointers as the Cavs, who attempted 11 3s in the period, got within 64-60. But after a timeout, Williams drove for a layup, hit a 15-foot jumper and drained a 3 to send the Jazz on their way.
The Jazz reeled off eight straight points to take a 42-33 lead midway through the second quarter, and seemed poised to open up more distance on the Cavs. However, Cleveland responded by making three 3-pointers in just over two minutes to pull even at 44 before Bell hit his third 3 of the half, pushing Utah's lead to 49-44 at the break.
In his 23rd season, Sloan is the longest-tenured coach with one team in any of the four major pro sports. Still, he has never been named NBA coach of the year. "I'm still kind of baffled by that," Scott said. "But I don't think he cares, either." The Cavs have had nine coaches during the span Sloan has been with the Jazz. "Hopefully, we don't have 10," Scott chuckled. ... Cleveland attempted 28 3-pointers. ... Okur has a mild sprain and is day-to-day.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||39-82 (.476)||30-72 (.417)|
|3PM-3PA||10-23 (.435)||12-28 (.429)|
|FTM-FTA||13-16 (.813)||18-25 (.720)|
|Fast Break Points||9||14|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||14 (0/0)|