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Utah Jazz notebook: More hurt players adding to Jazz woes

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 1:21 a.m. MDT

Jerry Sloan, right, is seen with assistant coaches Phil Johnson, center, and Tyrone Corbin as the Utah Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder to give Sloan his 1,000th game with the Utah Jazz. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Jerry Sloan, right, is seen with assistant coaches Phil Johnson, center, and Tyrone Corbin as the Utah Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder to give Sloan his 1,000th game with the Utah Jazz. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Taking over for a legendary coach after an unexpected midseason resignation seems difficult enough on its own.

Injuries are adding an extra degree of difficulty for Ty Corbin.

Already shorthanded, the Utah Jazz finished Friday night's loss even more undermanned after Andrei Kirilenko sprained his right ankle and left the game in the first half.

X-rays came back negative, but Kirilenko was unable to participate in the first Corbin-led practice Saturday. Listed as day-to-day, it's uncertain whether or not the starting small forward — who recently missed a week due to a sprained left ankle — will be available come Tuesday when the Jazz next play in Phoenix.

The status of Raja Bell (strained left calf) and Ronnie Price (sprained right big toe) is also unknown. Both players missed Friday's game, and their participation in Saturday's practice was limited. They are also considered day-to-day.

Because of that uncertainty, along with center Mehmet Okur's absence for at least another couple of weeks with his strained lower back rehab, Corbin said it's possible the Jazz could pursue a 14th player on a 10-day contract.

"It may be something that we have to look at little bit more, but right now it's just a little bit too early," Corbin said. "It depends on how guys heal up. If they can come back and play, we may not need anybody.

"But if not," he added, "you certainly can't play for an extended period of time with nine guys and two of those guys being rookies."

HOME, SOUR HOME: The Jazz already have as many losses at home this season as they did in 2007-08 and 2008-09 combined. And that 17-12 mark at EnergySolutions Arena already guarantees the worst home record since the Jazz went 22-19 in the 2005-06 season.

"It's not like us," Jazz forward Paul Millsap said. "That's the thing that kind of hurts us is to come home and continue to lose. We've just got to get back on the right track."

The Jazz have been particularly poor at home lately, losing four straight.

"That's tough, especially for this franchise. We're not used to losing games. We're not used to losing games at home, especially," Corbin said. "To lose four in a row in our building with the fan support that we have here is disappointing.

"We're a better team than we've played as, and we've got to continue to get better. We can't afford to let this thing snowball and continue to get worse."

FEELING THE FIRST ONE: With an 0-1 start, it was jokingly mentioned to Corbin that winning 100 percent of his games as a coach is out of the picture.

"I screwed that up already, right?" he said, chuckling.

Corbin admitted that he took this loss a bit more personally than previous defeats. He asked himself a lot of questions afterward, wondering if he could have done this or that better.

"It's a weird feeling for me after the game," he said. "You feel it losing because you're part of the team. I felt it a little bit more intensely, because I felt a lot more responsible."

Asked if he at least got more than two hours of sleep Friday night, which is all he said he got Thursday night, Corbin smiled and said: "It's morning. We're ready to go again."

JIMMERED: Deron Williams and C.J. Miles were among the 22,000-plus fans at the Marriott Center on Saturday afternoon to watch the Jimmer Fredette Show (a.k.a. the Utah-BYU game).

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

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