SALT LAKE CITY — Jonas Jerebko couldn’t help himself.
After coming off the bench to drill his first points of the season on a 3-pointer at 4:13 in the opening quarter, he had to let his emotions show in some way.
“Joe (Ingles) gave me a great pass and I was wide open,” Jerebko said. “It felt great to knock down the first one.”
Unfortunately, Thabo Sefolosha’s hand had to pay the cost as he gleefully slapped it after the bucket.
“He told me right afterward that I smacked it too hard,” Jerebko described while smiling. “I said, ‘It was my first shot as a Jazz(man) so I was excited.’”
The Jazz forward had a lot to be happy about after Utah’s 112-103 overtime win against Portland Wednesday night. He scored a season-high eight points and had seven rebounds while playing 20 minutes as Joe Johnson nurses right wrist tendon instability.
“I’ve been in this situation before so all I’ve got to do is just stay in the gym and be ready when I get an opportunity like this,” Jerebko said. “That’s all I can control.”
Coach Quin Snyder was happy with the way Jerebko threw himself into the game to compete after logging just four minutes entering the contest, with no significant stats.
“I was really happy for Jonas because he’s not had that opportunity to play and he’s been another guy that’s just stayed positive,” Snyder said. “It’s easy to have faith in guys that keep working no matter what.”
Hood struggles: After going off for a season-high 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting in Monday’s win against Dallas, Hood was held scoreless against Portland. He went 0-for-11 in nearly 20 minutes with two assists, two rebounds and two steals.
Caleb Swanigan returns to Utah: From the age of 5 until 13, Trail Blazers rookie Caleb Swanigan lived in Glendale and West Valley City with his mother Tanya and his siblings. Most of his immediate family still lives in Utah and he called the Jazz contest more like a home game. The former Purdue star did not enter the game against the Jazz but hopes he can be an inspiration to younger kids in the area who may have followed his journey from a 360-pound kid to a young man living his dreams.
“It’s a lot of kids out here that grew up how I did and just being able to see that and see me on the court, I feel like that helps a lot of people,” Swanigan said.
Gordon Hayward won’t return this season: Former Jazzman Gordon Hayward penned an emotional Facebook post titled “In An Instant” Wednesday to announce that he won’t be returning this season. Hayward, a member of the Boston Celtics, suffered a gruesome ankle injury during the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He recounted the injury, trauma and recovery process in great detail while thanking the Jazz organization in the process.
“And then there was the Utah Jazz,” Hayward wrote. “I had such a tough decision to leave this summer and yet everyone from ownership, to front office, coaches and all my teammates were immediately there for me. They continue to show that they are first class in every way, and I am so fortunate to have been a part of that organization.”
Hayward was an All-Star for the Jazz last season.