LOS ANGELES — Iso Joe isn’t Joe Johnson’s only nickname. Because of his tendency to save his teams, some people refer to the 35-year-old as Joe Jesus. Some find it funny. Some find it a bit blasphemous.
“That’s Kevin Garnett’s doing. He’s a great friend of mine, but I don’t know,” Johnson said when asked about that particular nickname. “You know what, I don’t let it bother me. Nicknames are what they are. I just continue to play the game the right way, have fun, enjoy it and move on.”
PROUD IRONMAN: Joe Ingles was the only Jazz player to not miss a game this injury-filled season, and he’s not about to let anyone forget that. He interrupted a question Sunday when a columnist asked if it was weird not playing with Rudy Gobert on Saturday, considering they’d played in 81 games together this season.
“I played all 82,” Ingles interjected. “He played 81.”
So what was it like?
“It was different,” Ingles said. “Obviously we would’ve loved Rudy out there, but he wasn’t there. We couldn’t really worry about it at the time. Like Joe said, it’s great to see him kind of walking around and see him today, that he’s upbeat, but we don’t know how long that (Gobert’s absence) will be, so we’ve got to prepare.”
JAZZ NOTES: Utah held a film session on Sunday but did not practice. The Jazz will practice Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s Game 2. Derrick Favors on the first playoff win in his seven-year NBA career: "It felt great. It felt great. It felt great. Last time, we got swept. This one, it felt great." Johnson was asked if he likes the game as much now as when he was a rookie. “Yeah, at 35 years old, I’m still enjoying it. I love it. I don’t think when you get this late in your career if you’re not enjoying and still have fun, its kind of hard to stick around, you know what I mean? I still enjoy the grit and grind about it, so I’m still having fun.” Hitting game-winners at the buzzer will do that for you.