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Utah Jazz: Okur looks unlikely for Game 2

Published: Monday, April 20 2009 1:07 p.m. MDT

LOS ANGELES — The Jazz weren't sure today if much-missed center Mehmet Okur would be available for Tuesday night's Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff series with the Los Angeles Lakers.

But it's looking quite unlikely, as he increased personal activity during a morning workout session — but again was unable to actually practice with the team.

Okur has been out for a week with a right hamstring strain that the team initially deemed to be merely mild, and did not play in Sunday's Game 1 loss.

"Just bad timing," Okur said prior to the practice today. "I mean, stuff like that happens.

"I wish I was out there playing with my teammates," he added. "I've got to look forward to getting healthy, and maybe play tomorrow night."

Okur, however, suggested he remains nowhere close to 100 percent — and still feels both pain and tightness in the muscle.

"Percentage-wise, I'm getting there," he said. "I would say about 65, 70.

"I'm looking for close to 100 percent. Maybe I'm not gonna be 100 percent. If I feel like my motion — jumping and running, pushing and stuff — feels good, then I'm gonna be out there."

But, Okur hastened to add, "This is the type of injury, if you're not really feeling good, and go out there and try to run, it could be worse."

Without Okur's strong outside shooting, the Jazz struggled to spread the floor in Sunday's 113-100 loss.

If the big Turk and one-time NBA All-Star is not ready to return Tuesday, as it appears will be the case, Jazz coach coach Jerry Sloan indicated this morning that he's inclined to stick with veteran reserve big man Jarron Collins opening at center.

Sloan also suggested that if Okur remains out he's likely to stay with usual backup shooting guard Kyle Korver starting at small forward, and regular-season starter C.J. Miles coming off the bench for a second straight playoff game.

The best-of-seven Western Conference series between the No. 1-seeded Lakers and No. 8 seed Jazz resumes at 8:30 p.m. (MDT) Tuesday in the Staples Center, with Game 3 scheduled for Thursday night at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

Contributing: Brad Rock

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