Utah Jazz notebook: Gordon Hayward misses Monday's crushing loss because of sprained shoulder
SALT LAKE CITY — Gordon Hayward could barely bear to watch the Utah Jazz's 45-point loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
But because of a Grade 1 sprained right shoulder, that was his only option.
Hayward suffered the injury in the final seconds of Saturday's 114-110 overtime win over the Indiana Pacers and missed his first game since his rookie season.
"It's still pretty sore, unfortunately," Hayward said Monday morning.
The third-year pro still has full range of motion in his shoulder, but it continues to feel stiff.
"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. 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 Pacer 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 lightheaded 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."
Though he thought others would step up, starting power forward Paul Millsap was concerned about the void Hayward's absence would make.
"G is a big part of what we do — his playmaking skills and his shooting," Millsap said. "So he'll be missed tonight."
WILLIAMS UPDATE: 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."
Williams said he's becoming so adept at using with his left hand, he's beaten Hayward, Jeremy Evans and DeMarre Carroll in shooting contests.
ALL NOT LOST: Hayward doesn't believe Monday's 125-80 loss erases all the good the Jazz have done in January, when they've gone 9-4 and won all six of their home games before the Rockets' explosion.
"I don't think it ruins it," he said. "I think it was a bad game for us, but there will be plenty more. We will be ready for the next one."
ALL TIED UP: The Jazz (24-21) and Rockets (25-22) are now tied for seventh place in the Western Conference standings. Houston has beaten Utah in two of three meetings this year, with the final one being at the Toyota Center on March 20.
"We played really well," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "It was one of those nights where a lot of stuff went our way."
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