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Utah Jazz notebook: Kirilenko sits, Miles improves

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 3:13 a.m. MDT

MINNEAPOLIS — Backup small forward Andrei Kirilenko didn't play for the Jazz in Saturday night's loss to Minnesota here due to continuing muscle tightness in his strained lower back.

Kirilenko played 14 minutes in Friday night's home win over Indiana, but he didn't play in last Monday night's win over Memphis for the same reason.

"When I woke up before the game I just started feeling tightness again," Kirilenko said.

"It felt fine (Friday night), and (Saturday) in the morning," he added. "I'm just a little disappointed that it started again, because it had been, like, three, four days it feels pretty good."

Playing a second straight game for the Jazz on Saturday, though, was swingman C.J. Miles, who rebounded from a rough start in his first game back following thumb surgery to score eight points and make two steals in 20 minutes vs. Minnesota.

"I felt great in the first half, with everything," said Miles, who started 3-for-5 from the field before the break but finished 3-for-8. "The game slowed down for me. ... Also, I came into the game and I didn't do the same thing I did (Friday).

"I mean, as a basketball player I expect to play no matter what. But I put so much pressure on myself (Friday), all the emotions took over.

(Saturday), I said, 'If it comes to me I'm gonna take it, but I'm not gonna try to force anything.' In the first half, I got some open looks and was kind of just calm on my shots instead of rushing and thinking 'I've got to make it.' ... The second half, though, I kind of drifted on some of my shots."

Also out for Utah on Saturday were reserve swingman Kyle Korver and combo guard Ronnie Price, both of whom traveled with the team.

Korver was a game-time decision, but he wasn't ready to return yet from arthroscopic knee surgery that's caused him to miss all season.

Price missed his 12th straight game due to a lingering toe/foot injury.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Jazz coach Jerry Sloan thought about sticking much longer in Saturday's second quarter with a successful lineup of backup point Eric Maynor, sub Miles, starter Ronnie Brewer, backup power forward Paul Millsap and starter Mehmet Okur — perhaps even to finish the half.

"I did, but ... I didn't do it. I didn't make a very good decision," said Sloan, whose club allowed the Timberwolves an 11-0 run to end the opening half.

"I thought I had the guys rested there (who) should be able to come in the ballgame and at least handle the situation to finish out the half, but we had a terrible finish," he added.

"It looked like we were just taking shots instead of executing."

Said point Deron Williams, who along with power forward Carlos Boozer was subbed back in: "That was really disappointing, because that second group came in there and got us back in the game — and then we got back in the there and just gave it right back to them. It gave them a lot of confidence, and they kind of took it and ran with it."

MISC.: Williams said there were no lingering effects from his knee-on-knee bump with Indiana's Danny Granger in Friday's victory over the Pacers. ... Boozer now has 13 double-doubles this season, and Williams seven. ... Saturday's game included four sons of former NBA players: Jazz teammates Brewer and Wesley Matthews, and Timberwolves Damien Wilkins and Kevin Love. ... Ex-Jazz swingman Sasha Pavlovic played 13 scoreless minutes for Minnesota, and former Jazz guard Jason Hart was inactive.

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com

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