Sloan just never stops winning

December, 23, 2010
12/23/10
12:22
AM ET
Often overshadowed by his coaching counterparts (including now ex-Bobcats coach Larry Brown), Jerry Sloan moved up the appreciation scale after working his 2,000th NBA game on Wednesday night.

Sloan moved into third place on the all-time NBA coaching wins list, passing Pat Riley with his 1,211th victory, a 112-107 triumph for the Utah Jazz over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Somehow, Sloan has accumulated all of those victories without either an NBA title or a Coach of the Year award. He may find himself in contention for the latter this season if the Jazz continue their winning ways. Utah is 21-9, matching its best 30-game start in the last 10 seasons (Utah was 21-9 in 2006-07).

The Jazz survived a night in which Kevin Love scored 25 points and had 19 rebounds. It was Love's 19th game with at least 15 rebounds this season, which according to Basketball-Reference.com, is the most by a player in his first 30 games of the season since Dennis Rodman had 21 in 1992-1993.

Surviving on the road has been big for the Jazz this season. Utah is 10-4 on the road, 4-0 in road games decided by five points or less. If the Jazz can avoid an extended losing streak, Utah can have consecutive seasons with a winning record on the road for the first time since the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons.

Wins in volume were one of the big themes on this night of NBA action.

• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the San Antonio Spurs became the fourth team in NBA history to have a pair of 10-game win streaks prior to January 1. None of the three previous teams to do so (1973-74 Bucks, 1980-81 76ers, and 2006-07 Mavericks) won an NBA title.

• The Boston Celtics won their 14th straight game, the sixth time in team history they've had a streak of that length. The Celtics are now 94-14 in games played before Christmas over the last four seasons. Via Elias, that is the best such record over any four-season span in NBA history.

• The wins haven't come in high volume for the Detroit Pistons this season, but for one day, Pistons guard Richard Hamilton was able to score at a rate comensurate with past success.

Coming off the bench for only the second time this season, Hamilton had 35 points, the 14th time in an 814-game NBA career that he tallied that many, in a 115-93 win over the Raptors. It was a strong redemption for Hamilton, who was -22 in 18 minutes in his last game, an embarassing 109-88 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He flipped that around with a +22 in Wednesday's contest.

• Hamilton might want pass some bounceback karma on to Shawne Williams of the New York Knicks. Williams had the NBA's oddest statistical night in the Knicks 112-98 win over the Thunder. The Knicks were outscored by 21 points in the 18 minutes when Williams was on the floor. With Williams on the bench for 30 minutes, the Knicks outscored the Thunder by 35 points.

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