That’s the thing about this team that’s been happening all year. It shows the character of the collective group. They’ve been pulling together all year and it was good to see. —Jazz coach Quin Snyder
DENVER — By Trey Lyles' estimation, he had about 15 seconds of warning that he would be starting in Sunday afternoon’s game against Denver.
Usual starter Derrick Favors had already been introduced as a starter, but he was talked into not playing by Rudy Gobert and others because of a sore right knee.
“Coaches told me in the huddle I was starting,” Lyles said. “I just try to stay ready.”
Lyles, who had already started 30 games in his rookie season, wasn’t fazed in the least as he went out and hit his first six shots and finished with a career-high 22 points, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range, in helping the Jazz to a vital victory in their quest for a playoff spot.
“He was outstanding for us,” said Gordon Hayward. “He kept us in the game there early. He’s really stepped up to the challenge. I’m proud of him.”
Gobert said before the game he was watching Favors warm up and could see he wasn’t doing so well. “I told him, If you’re not feeling great, just don’t play tonight. We need you 100 percent tomorrow.”
Jazz coach Quin Snyder wasn’t surprised about Lyles stepping up.
“That’s the thing about this team that’s been happening all year,” he said. “It shows the character of the collective group. They’ve been pulling together all year and it was good to see.”