OAKLAND, Calif. — The Jazz will play Golden State tonight without usual starting center Mehmet Okur, who returned to Utah for the birth of his first son.
Okur flew with the team from New Orleans to California on Thursday following Wednesday night's win over the Hornets, then caught a flight from there to Salt Lake City on Thursday night after learning wife Yeliz had gone into labor.
Yigit Mehmet Okur arrived Friday morning, checking in at 21 inches and eight pounds, two ounces.
A proud papa was on hand for the birth, and will be replaced in the Jazz's opening lineup tonight as usual backup power forward Paul Millsap starts up front alongside usual starting power forward Carlos Boozer for Utah.
Okur had planned on skipping the Jazz's game at Portland on Sunday, when a planned birth had been scheduled.
Thursday's developments changed those plans, leaving Okur's status for Sunday night's game against the Trail Blazers uncertain.
Okur and his wife have one other child, daughter Melisa.
In another change to the Jazz's starting lineup, rookie Wesley Matthews will start at shooting guard in place of Ronnie Brewer, who was traded Thursday to Memphis.