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Utah Jazz: Alec Burks puts on a late show in return to Colorado

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 5 2015 5:29 a.m. MDT

DENVER — Alec Burks had a solid, albeit short, college career at Colorado.

His family remains in Missouri and the Buffaloes hosted New Orleans on Wednesday, so the Pepsi Center wasn't exactly Burks Fan Club Central.

Too bad.

Burks didn't enter the Utah Jazz's 117-100 loss to Denver until about 10 minutes remained, but he put on a show in his short stint.

A night after making a scoreless NBA debut in L.A., Burks exploded for 15 quick points against the Nuggets with layups, dunks, even an outside shot.

If the rookie was excited about that, it didn't show in the locker room.

"It's good to always see the floor," Burks said. "Scoring doesn't matter, wins count. We lost, so that's all that matters."

Coach Tyrone Corbin liked that Burks scored while running the floor and getting to the rim. While talking about Burks, Corbin even hinted the young shooting guard could be up for more P.T. after playing a combined 15 minutes in his first two games.

"We'll evaluate everything," Corbin said. "We'll see where we are and we've got to get effort from everybody on both ends of the floor and not just scoring."

The 20-year-old didn't get offended he wasn't bugged for tickets nor worry that his Colorado return fell short of the homecoming hysteria Gordon Hayward experienced in Indiana last season.

"I'd rather them support the Colorado team," Burks said.

The Colorado team from Boulder, of course.

Being in the Denver NBA arena, just 27 miles down the turnpike from his old campus, was a surreal experience for the would-be junior. And he received a warm ovation from the Colorado crowd when he finally got in.

"This is why I left school eight months ago," Burks said. "It's crazy. I could be in school right now, on Christmas break really. It's a great feeling. I'm living my dream out right now. I'm just glad."

Corbin has high hopes for his athletic talent. Playing opportunities will come.

"He's learning to play at a different level and he's got to do it a little more consistently," Corbin said. "He's a very versatile guy, and he's very skilled and can really rebound for a guy his size."

Burks, the No. 12 pick in June's draft, has found out quickly how different the NBA game is than college ball.

"Everybody's physical, faster," he said. "Mostly I was a lot athletically better than people in college, but here everybody can do the same things I can. So you need to adjust to everything. I feel like I'll be fine after that."

Burks is friends with ex-Buff and former Nugget Chauncey Billups, but he never had a rooting interest in Denver's NBA squad.

"If they weren't from Kansas City," he said, smiling, "they weren't my favorite team."

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