Utah Jazz notebook: Paul Millsap doesn't let Golden State Warriors 'bug' him
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — It takes more than a little bug to keep Paul Millsap out of the lineup.
Even if that little bug happened to make him miserable Thursday night, kept him home during the Jazz's shootaround Friday morning and resulted in him being a game-time decision for Utah's contest against Golden State.
"To me, it's not life or death," Millsap said, "… so I can get out there and play."
And he did.
Millsap didn't exactly go Michael Jordan (see: 1997 Finals) on the Warriors, but he had a solid showing all things considering with 12 points and seven rebounds in the 104-98 win.
"He hates missing. He want to be there for his team," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "It says a lot about his character and who he is. He wants to be out on the floor when he's supposed to be out working."
Millsap has only missed 13 games in his six NBA seasons, including one on Feb. 29 because of a severely bruised heel.
"You never question whether he's trying not to play," Corbin said. " You know if he's not in uniform then there's something major and he can't go. It's great to have guys like that."
Added Corbin: "I knew that if he could go, he would find a way to go."
SOUTHERN SICKNESS?: With multiple illnesses going around the Jazz, the locker room has to be considered an enter-at-your-own-risk area now, right?
"I'm good," Jazz guard Earl Watson said. "I don't go that side. I leave that side alone."
The Jazz players lockers are situated in a U shape, and Watson is on a side with rookie Alec Burks and second-year guys Jeremy Evans and Hayward.
The sketchy side Watson was referring to is the middle part, which includes the lockers of Dallas native C.J Miles (nausea), Louisiana's Millsap (stomach virus), Mississippi's Al Jefferson (strained stomach) and Atlanta's Derrick Favors (healthy, knock on wood) along with Devin Harris and DeMarre Carroll.
"Everybody from that side is from the South," Kansas City product Watson continued, joking. "I don't mess with them Southern boys down there."
FRIENDLY FOE: Klay Thompson has a fan on the Jazz roster.
The Warriors rookie was Gordon Hayward's teammate on the United States' U-19 team that won the FIBA world championship in New Zealand back in 2009.
"Any time you see guys do well that you were former teammates of it's always a cool feeling," Hayward said at the morning shootaround. "I just hope he doesn't do that well tonight."
Thompson, who played college ball at Washington State, ended up scoring 23 points — 21 of which came in the second half.
"He's a great shooter, good player," Hayward said. "He's a cool guy to hang around with. He definitely can score the basketball."
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