Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
NEW YORK — Despite national reporters that claimed otherwise, the Utah Jazz roster remains the same.
While the team did not and will not sign D-League guard Travis Leslie today — as it's been reported they soon will — the Jazz have a more pressing alteration to their lineup tonight against the New York Knicks.
Starting power forward Paul Millsap will sit out the finale of this rough four-game road trip with inflammation in his right knee.
One night after having their 14 non-Raja Bell players healthy and available, the Jazz are down a key piece yet again.
"We were just getting everybody back into the fold," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin lamented in his pregame media session before tonight's 5:30 p.m. game at Madison Square Garden. "We were trying to find a comfort level, a rotation that's going to carry us through the rest of the year, and here we go again. We've got another guy out."
Millsap, who rarely misses games, just returned from a two-game injury absence last week after spraining his left ankle.
"We're going to miss Paul. We need all of our guys, but Derrick has played extended minutes of late and has done a good job for us," Corbin said. "Lucky for us, last night he was able to finish the game and gain the experience of being in the game at the end."
No matter who's on the floor in the end, Corbin added, the Jazz "need to learn how to close games out."
The Jazz have lost three consecutive games in this road trip against Milwaukee, Cleveland and Chicago after leading in the final minute.
Because of that, the surging Lakers (32-31) have moved to within a half-game of the slumping Jazz (32-30), who have dropped six of seven overall.
Millsap tweaked his knee in Cleveland but played through the pain Friday in Chicago.
"Last night he looked OK, but he was not moving like himself. Paul is one of the guys, he don't want to miss games," Corbin said. "You know if he's out, he's hurt. He will try to play through injuries. We really appreciate his effort, but the best thing for him now is to make sure we take care of it and get a look and see what is going on."
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