LOS ANGELES — The Utah Jazz will be shorthanded tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Small forward Andrei Kirilenko has been ruled out of playing in the 8:30 p.m. game (FSN/NBA-TV) at Staples Center because of his strained lower back, and an under-the-weather C.J. Miles will also sit out the game due to flu-like symptoms.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said he will replace Kirilenko in the starting lineup with rookie Gordon Hayward, who had three starts a couple of weeks ago when Raja Bell was out with a groin injury.
Kirilenko will be re-evaluated Thursday morning to determine if he'll be able to play that night at Portland for the tail end of this road back-to-back set. If he doesn't get to play in the quick turnaround rematch with the Trail Blazers, who won 96-91 at Utah on Monday, Kirilenko hopes to play on New Year's Day when the Jazz host Memphis.11 comments on this story
"I feel better today," he said.
Kirilenko was hit from behind while jumping in the second quarter Monday, and he's since suffered back spasms — a recurring injury that occasionally bothers the 29-year-old. Running isn't a problem right now, but reaching and bending over is difficult for Kirilenko to do.
Miles was feeling ill this morning, so he stayed at the team hotel instead of participating in shootaround. The Jazz announced he would miss tonight's game about 90 minutes before tipoff.