Utah Jazz: C.J. Miles shines for Jazz off bench

Published: Friday, Dec. 10 2010 11:00 p.m. MST

Utah swingman C.J. Miles celebrates a second half basket during the Jazz's victory over the Magic on Friday night.   (Mike Terry, Deseret News) Utah swingman C.J. Miles celebrates a second half basket during the Jazz's victory over the Magic on Friday night. (Mike Terry, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Rookie Gordon Hayward got the start in place of injured shooting guard Raja Bell.

But it was sixth-man swingman C.J. Miles who finished at the 2 spot — in fine fashion, too, as the Jazz beat Orlando 117-105 Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

His alley-oop dunk, delivered by Deron Williams, was icing that pushed Utah's lead to 13 with 43.4 seconds to go.

Rather than high-flying harm, though, Miles did most of his damage Friday from the outside.

He wound up with a season-high 26 points off the bench, doing it with 9-for-13 shooting from the field, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range, and 4-for-6 shooting from the free-throw line.

Nineteen of his 26 came in the fourth quarter, when the Jazz — leading by 10 after three — never allowed the Magic to get within closer than seven at 109-102 with just under three minutes to go.

"The basket just got big to me in the second half, basically," Miles said.

"I tried to mix it up. But I got a lot of looks from 3s, so I had to take them to make them (the Magic) honest," he added. "When they ran me I tried to get to the basket a little bit. But, mostly, guys just spaced the floor and guys found me."

Miles was 7-for-9 from the field in the fourth quarter alone, including 3-for-4 from behind the long-distance line.

It was part of a second half in which Utah was 9-for-13 on trey tries, accounting for the bulk of their season high-tying 10 3-pointers.

"We moved with a purpose in the second half," Miles said.

"Everybody gets going, running up and down the floor. We get easy baskets, and we get open shots, and you've got a rhythm going playing hard, and it allowed us to make some shots."

That Miles knocked most of his down was critical for the Jazz, especially with seldom-used Hayward going scoreless in Bell's absence.

The responsibility to pick up the slack with Bell being sidelined — the veteran sat out with an adductor strain — is something Miles readily acknowledged.

"You do (feel it)," he said. "But, at the same time, I didn't want to change from what I do."

That would be offering a scoring punch off the bench, a role Miles said he's "just trying to embrace."

"It was good," he said, "for Gordon (Hayward) to get some minutes, and for me to come out and just do the same thing I've been doing — be a spark in that second group, and if I'm still in with that first group just keep being aggressive and just try to help out.

"That's what I was able to do (Friday)."

It's also what he hopes to do tonight, when the Jazz visit his hometown Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs were in Utah just more than a week ago, on Dec. 3, winning 93-81 and ending the Jazz's seven-game win streak then. Dallas hasn't lost since, and its current victory streak stands at 11.

"We owe 'em," said Miles, who came to Utah and the NBA straight from Dallas' Skyline High School. "They came in our building, and they got us pretty good. So we want to go out there, and just play hard.

"There's a little chip on our shoulder from that game, also, to add a little fuel to the fire. And knowing that they're red-hot right now winning games — they stopped our run; we want to stop theirs."

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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