Tom Smart, Deseret News
Utah's C.J. Miles scored 40 Wednesday against Minnesota, but his coach said he played active defense as well.

SALT LAKE CITY — C.J. Miles got flooded with congrats — and early birthday wishes (he turns 24 today) — after dropping a career-best 40 points on Minnesota in Wednesday's 119-104 win.

The Jazz's new starting shooting guard didn't stay up late watching the replay of his greatest NBA game, but he admitted with a smile: "I didn't sleep well."

Some Minnesota players might have missed some winks, too, for related reasons.

Now in his sixth season in the league, Miles hasn't had a night like this one since he burned the nets for 52 points while starring for Skyline High School in Dallas.

Miles' previous NBA career-high was 29, set on March 31, 2008, against Washington.

"My whole life that's one of the best nights I ever felt shooting the basketball was (Wednesday) night," said Miles, who's averaging 13.0 points per game this season. "Everything felt smooth. Everything just felt right. I felt like I got square every time I got a chance to shoot it."

Miles credited his teammates for giving him "good looks" through passes and screens and said, "I don't get 40 without them."

His 40-point effort was almost a Jazz season-high for regulation play. Deron Williams scored 39 in four quarters against San Antonio, while Paul Millsap had 44 of his 46 points in regulation in that memorable overtime win at Miami.

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Offensive excellence aside, Miles also got a compliment for what he did on the other side of the court, from Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin.

"Defensively, he was pretty active. He did a good job of meeting his man early, of getting up and playing the guy," Corbin said. "One of the things that he's getting better at is not taking a little bit of time off, relaxing when he thinks it's over, and just playing hard the entire time he's on the floor, and I think he's getting better at that."


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