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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Jazz's Hayward to start vs. Rockets; Williams, Kirilenko, Okur out

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said this morning that rookie forward Gordon Hayward will start tonight during a game against Houston at EnergySolutions Arena.

Utah's Deron Williams (wrist), Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) and Mehmet Okur (back) are out. Paul Millsap (left pinkie, right thumb) is a game-time decision.

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Reserve point guard Earl Watson will start in place of Williams for the fourth consecutive game.

Kirilenko said that his ankle is sore and believes it is a day-to-day injury. He is unsure whether he will be able to play Friday at Denver.

Okur said that his injury is the same one he dealt with in early January. He is not sure when he will return to action, and acknowledged that he might have come back too soon and pushed himself too hard when recovering from past injuries this season. He plans to work on his conditioning during the interim, and does not plan to take the court until he is 100 percent.

— Brian T. Smith

Twitter: tribjazz

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