Utah Jazz: Sloan points to sloppy start
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

DALLAS - Only 76 seconds into Thursday's game, Dallas coach Avery Johnson was disgusted enough by what he'd seen to call timeout.

You can only imagine how Jerry Sloan felt five minutes later when his team was trailing by 14 points.

The Jazz suffered what might have been considered an expected letdown at the start of the game after their big victories over New Orleans and San Antonio. They fell behind 18-4 in the first quarter and 43-30 in the second.

"My biggest problem is the way we started the game,'' Sloan said. "You come out the way we started to play, I mean, there wasn't very good basketball at all. I'm not taking anything away from them because they got in our rear ends and wouldn't let us breathe."

The Mavericks jumped on the Jazz with the one-two punch of Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki. Carlos Boozer missed his first three shots and two free throws while Deron Williams went 1-for-4 in the first quarter.

The Jazz had another tough stretch in the second quarter when Williams committed two turnovers and Mehmet Okur had a shot blocked by Brandon Bass. Okur did score eight points in the last 2:22 as the Jazz went into halftime down 47-40.

Fashion statement

If he's going to spend the playoffs on the Jazz's inactive list, Kyrylo Fesenko is going to look sharp doing so. Kyle Korver and Andrei Kirilenko made sure of that when they took Fesenko shopping at a big-and-tall store Wednesday in Dallas.

They spent more than 2 1/2 hours at the store picking out clothes for the 7-foot-1, 288-pound rookie center. For Thursday's game, Fesenko wore a black suit, light blue sweater vest and purple tie that was the talk of the locker room.

"They think that I need suits,'' said Fesenko, who spent much of this season in the NBA Development League. "I'm OK with one sports coat per 10 years."

"The whole team was not OK with it,'' Kirilenko interjected from a neighboring locker.

"Andrei don't give me any options,'' Fesenko said. "He said, 'I will meet you in the lobby.' "

Trainer Gary Briggs suggested Fesenko take a lap around the AmericanAirlines Center to show off his new threads. Kirilenko, who picked up the bill, said Fesenko still has a ways to go when it comes to fashion sense.

"Everything he choose is terrible,'' Kirilenko said. For his part, Fesenko said he was still searching for a pair of size 18 shoes and would gladly accept donations from readers.

Briefly

Dallas' Josh Howard (1-for-8) suffered a bruised right knee and left in the second half. . . . Nowitzki played with an air cast on his sprained left ankle. . . . The Jazz became the first team since Memphis in November/December 2005 to hold consecutive teams to fewer than 70 points after their victories over San Antonio and New Orleans.

rsiler@sltrib.com