Los Angeles — Jazz center Mehmet Okur underwent an X-ray that was negative Wednesday after straining his lower back during a 103-95 Utah victory against the Clippers at Staples Center. He will be re-evaluated Thursday and his status for the Jazz's road game against the Portland Trail Blazers is unknown.
Okur finished with a season-high 13 points and grabbed three rebounds in the win versus the Clippers. The veteran reserve displayed his most confident outing of the season since returning from Achilles tendon surgery, recording 11 first-half points and initially serving as Utah's main offensive threat. But he left the game with 8 minutes, 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter and did not return. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan acknowledged that Okur dealt with back issues throughout the contest.
Okur has dealt with Achilles, ankle and back issues during the past eight months. He made his season debut Nov. 17 against New Orleans and has played in four games this season. After a slow, shaky start, Okur has recorded 19 points in Utah's last two contests while shooting 7 of 16 from the field.
— Brian T. Smith
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