LOS ANGELES — Earl Watson and the Utah Jazz were reunited Sunday at Staples Center.
Watson had an excused absence from the team for the past several days to receive laser treatment on his sprained left ankle from a Los Angeles-based doctor, so he was already in SoCal ahead of Sunday's game against the Lakers..
Watson dressed but didn't see action against L.A. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he did not "feel comfortable" with Watson getting in yet without having gone full speed and testing out his healing ankle.
Considering the way No. 3 point guard Jamaal Tinsley played in his absence, Corbin will have some choices to make when Watson is available to return, whenever that is.
Coming into Sunday's game, Tinsley averaged 10 points and five assists after filling in for Watson in the backup playmaker spot over a three-game stretch.
"It's on me," Corbin said. "The guy deserves to get more time on the floor. When I find time, I'll try and get him out there. You always want to reward a guy for playing."
Tinsley tries to stay involved whether he's playing or not. He constantly helps younger players on the bench and in the locker room, and he has seized opportunities to make things happen in the few extended playing chances this season. (One example: Tinsley has the top assists game of the year for the Jazz: 13).
"You never want one of your teammates to go down," Tinsley said, "but I'm just making the best out of it."
Corbin appreciates what Tinsley has given the Jazz ever since he was brought up from the D-League and got a second life in the NBA after a year off.
"Jamaal's been a true professional all year," Corbin said. "He's kept himself ready. He work at practice. He come over early on game days. He's always running to make sure he keeps himself in shape."
KUNG FU KANTER?: Tinsley found a Bruce Lee poster in the training room and, as a joke, taped it up next to the locker of rookie Enes Kanter in the Staples Center visitors' room.
"I put it over there by his locker to give him something look at. He probably don't even know who he is," Tinsley joked. "I was a big fan."
Kanter said he'd heard of Lee before, but Tinsley added, "He's like, 'What's this?'"
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: C.J. Miles turned 25 years old Sunday, but he said the day in L.A. was low key — just as he preferred.
Miles started for the second straight game, but he was still being bothered by hay fever, which kept him out of Thursday's contest. Changes in weather wreak havoc on the Dallas native.
"I have some of the worst allergies on the planet," the Dallas native said.
TEA TIME: Big man Derrick Favors notched career-highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds in the Jazz's overtime win over Golden State.
When it was joked to Corbin that Favors' teammates would have to buy him a drink to celebrate, the Jazz coach quickly noted that the 20-year-old was too young to partake in adult beverages.
Corbin's alternative drink?
"He's from the South," Corbin said of the Atlanta-raised Favors. "Sweet tea."
Tuesday vs. Oklahoma City, 7 p.m., ROOT
It's been ugly for Jazz so far against Thunder. They've lost by an average of 20 points this season, and that's without Eric Maynor.
Thursday at Sacramento, 8 p.m., ROOT
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