SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz will face the Houston Rockets — and their Sundance Film Festival star, Jeremy Lin — without the services of sixth man Gordon Hayward tonight at EnergySolutions Arena.
Hayward suffered a grade-one right shoulder sprain in the final seconds of Saturday's 114-110 overtime win over the Indiana Pacers and will not dress for this game against the Rockets.
"It's still pretty sore, unfortunately," Hayward said after this morning's shootaround.
The third-year pro still has full range of motion in his shoulder, but it continues to feel stiff. Hayward hasn't a game since his rookie season.
"I'm just going to try to get treatment and come back as soon as I can," he said.
Hayward is listed as day-to-day after tonight. The Jazz host New Orleans on Wednesday and Portland on Friday.
Hayward said his shoulder was popped by Indiana big man David West as the Jazz shooting guard fought through a screen in a "shut-the-gate play" set up for All-Star Paul George.
"It was a hard screen. I definitely felt it," he explained. "I knew something happened right when it got hit, finished off the play. I needed a sub."
Hayward briefly felt light-headed because of the jolt of pain that surged through his shoulder after he pressured George on the shot and recovered the botched attempt.
"They (trainers) said I was getting pale and I needed to sit down and so I did that," he said. "The pain went down a little bit and it started to feel better."
"He's a guy that want to be there and want to be in the game," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "So if he couldn't go back, it was something that was pretty significant."
Starting power forward Paul Millsap said the Jazz will need other bench players — like Alec Burks and DeMarre Carroll — to fill the void left by Hayward.
"G is a big part of what we do — his playmaking skills and his shooting," Millsap said. "So he'll be missed tonight."
More short shots from shootaround:
— Point guard Mo Williams said he'll have the pin removed from his surgically repaired right thumb during the All-Star break next month:
"I'm doing good," Williams said. "Just trying to keep my cardio together until I get this pin out and be able to use this fully. I'm just trying to do everything I can, running around, using this left hand as much as I can, developing it a little bit more."
— Center Al Jefferson on Jeremy Lin, who had 28 points and eight assists against the Jazz in the second game of Linsanity last season:
"That's a prime example of keeping God first and reaching your goals. You keep Him first and have that commitment to do whatever you want to do and to be whoever you want to be, it can happen. It's an amazing story. He came a long way and he deserve all the success he's having."
— And about Lin's performance in the Knicks' win over Utah at Madison Square Garden last February:
"He kicked our butts. After that game, I thought he was going to be a Hall of Famer, the way he did us," he said. "I knew he was a great player. He just needed that chance. Once he got it, he just took advantage of it."1 comment on this story
— Millsap on what the 24-20 Jazz can expect from the 24-22 Rockets, who average 104.4 points this season:
"We know they're going to get after it. They're a more up-tempo team. They're going to get a lot of 3-point shots up. They're going to move the basketball so the keys to the game for us are to contest the 3-point shots and secure the ball."