Through 95 games with the Utah Jazz, Kyle Korver had a big goose egg on one line of the stat sheet.
Because of an illness to C.J. Miles and an injury to Andrei Kirilenko, that glaring zero is now a whopping 1.
Though getting near-starter-type minutes with Utah hasn't been unheard of for the sharpshooter, actually getting some minutes as a starter had been until Thursday.
"He was probably the guy next in line to do so," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan about his decision to insert Korver into the starting rotation as the small forward for what turned out to be a 115-87 blowout win over Dallas at EnergySolutions Arena.
"I started (Morris Almond) the last time that happened," Sloan added. "I probably was a little bit unfair to him, put too much pressure on him. I thought Kyle has enough experience to put him in."
It took some time, but Korver eventually let his experience pay off and logged 35 minutes of productive play.
If it was an audition for a permanent starter's job, he might be able to get 19,911 letters of recommendation from Jazz fans in attendance.
After a somewhat slow offensive start he only had one bucket in the first quarter Korver lit it up to end with a season-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting.
He did much of his damage surprise, surprise from his trademark territory. Though he struggled from beyond the arc for a while, he hit his final three 3-pointers to drill a season-best 4-for-7 from long distance.
Korver didn't just make a splash as a starter with his sizzling shooting. A few days after leading Utah in rebounding against Charlotte, Korver hauled in a season-high nine boards, swiped three steals and had a blocked shot for the second game in a row.
He hit a timely 3-pointer after grabbing a defensive rebound and then stole the ball, leading to a Paul Millsap putback off a tough attempt by Korver, to help the Jazz take a 24-point lead in the third quarter after coming out of the locker room up by 10. Korver then scored eight in the clinching fourth quarter.
"Yeah, I thought he did a good job. I thought he did a very good job. He made some shots," Sloan said. "I thought he just played very well."
Nevertheless, this starting stint, Sloan insisted, will only last until Miles recovers from the upper respiratory infection that kept him out Thursday clears up.
"I never have a player lose their job because of sickness or injuries," Sloan said. "So, if C.J.'s healthy and ready to play (tonight), I'll play him."28 comments on this story
Though he's settled into a reserve role with Utah, Korver wasn't a stranger to opening games on the court in Philadelphia.Korver started 101 times with the 76ers the last time, coincidentally coming at Dallas on Dec. 15, 2006, when he scored 13 points with seven rebounds and three assists.