After missing his first game of the season, Jazz forward Gordon Hayward did not practice Sunday morning because of a hip flexor injury.
According to a team spokesman, Hayward’s availability Monday night against Denver at EnergySolutions Arena will be a game-time decision.
Hayward did not play in a 113-102 loss to Cleveland on Friday night. It was only the third win in 18 road games for the Cavaliers.
“It’s always difficult when you’re missing a player — especially a major player who has an impact on both ends of the floor, like Gordon does,” said teammate Marvin Williams. “You can’t replace a Gordon Hayward.”
Clearly, Utah missed Hayward’s defense.
The Cavaliers shot 54.2 percent from the floor. Their 113 points were the fifth-most allowed by the Jazz in their first 38 games.
Players who Hayward could have taken a turn guarding — Kyrie Irving, C.J. Miles, Dion Waiters and Luol Deng — combined for 69 points.
Asked what it’s like playing without Hayward, coach Tyrone Corbin said, “It’s a lot different. The sets we can run. The frequency of the sets we run. Where the ball ends up. Where the ball starts sometimes.
“Defensively, it makes a difference with our rotations and matchups because of his size. ... We lose a lot of things without him being out there.”
The Jazz continue to wander through the most leisurely stretch of their schedule.
Between Jan. 4-30, Utah plays only nine games. The game against Denver will be their third in 10 days.
“It’s huge for us,” Corbin said. “Not only for the time we get to be on the practice floor, but for the chance it gives the guys’ bodies to recover.
“Guys are pretty beat up. They are sore somewhere because of all the games we played in such a short amount of time” early in the season.
On the other hand, so much downtime can be a problem.
“One trap is you decompress a little bit,” Corbin said, “Now a game comes up and you have to get yourself back to the rhythm you had built up.”
Back from D-League
Ian Clark and Rudy Gobert have returned from their second NBA Development League assignment of the season.
Clark and Gobert will accompany the Jazz when they start a quick trip to San Antonio, Detroit and Minnesota on Wednesday.
In eight games with the D-League’s Bakersfield Jam, Gobert averaged 13.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and three blocked shots. Clark averaged 12.4 points and 5.3 assists and shot 33.4 percent from the 3-point line.