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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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Interview — Al Jefferson on injury, missing first Jazz game, Derrick Favors stepping up

Excerpts from a postgame interview Friday with Al Jefferson.

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Jefferson on missing his first game for the Jazz: I don't miss games if I can help it, man. I hate missing games. It was a game-time decision. I went out there to get some shots up and it just didn't get better. … Better to play it safe than sorry.

Was he limping last week: It just started [Thursday]. … To go back from 2006, I had surgery on it when I had a bone bruise and it set up arthritis in my ankle. So I was taking medicine for when I tore my ACL in '08. When my knee got better, I stopped taking my medicine ad that's what triggered my ankle to start back. It kind of like takes 24 hours for the medicine to get in my system and it's already feeling a lot better now.

Playing vs. Spurs: I'm going to try to go if it feels better but if it's feeling like it is right now I'm going to just take it easy.

Thinking long-term: I couldn't run. It was just pointless to go out there and hurt my team by not being 100 percent and not being able to run. It was just really the only option I had.

Derrick Favors: When he walked back there and seen my name not on the board he asked me am I OK? And I was like, 'No, I'm not going to be able to go.' And I said, 'You've just got to be able to hold it down for me.' And he stared in my eyes and said, 'I'm going to hold it down for you.' And that's exactly what he did and it made me proud. I was happy about it.

Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz

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