After a 101-85 loss at Houston on Sunday night and arriving back in Utah at 12:30 a.m., the Jazz held a shoot-around on Monday morning in preparation for tonight's game against San Antonio.
Coach Tyrone Corbin usually gives his players the morning to recuperate after a road game that immediately precedes a game at EnergySolutions Artena.
Not this time.
"I think it's better to get out of bed, come in and get a chance to watch film -- get the guys moving around a little bit," Corbin said. "The main thing is to stretch and make sure we focus on what we've got to do to try and get a win against a tough team. ... We're better when we get out of bed and come in and spend some time together."
Asked about the unusual shoot-around, Gordon Hayward shrugged and said, "Coach calls practice and you're ready to go. We're professionals and this is our job. ... People are a little tired. At the same time, we know these games are important and we have to do whatever we can to get the win."
Center Al Jefferson, who suffered stomach pains in the final minutes of the loss at Houston, participated in the shoot-around and is expected to play against the Spurs.
Raja Bell, who played 35 minutes against the Rockets before aggravating an adductor strain, did not participate in the shoot-around and will be a game-time decision.
The Spurs are expected to play without Tiago Splitter (calf) and Manu Ginobili (rib injury.).
Still, Corbin knows San Antonio owns a 22-9 record and remains one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
"This is a good ball club," Corbin said. "They've been together for awhile. Guys are used to [other] guys being in and out of the lineup. We can't afford to think -- because some guys are out -- that we can relax at all. This is a great team that's used to winning. They know each other well -- a very smart club. If you make mistakes, they make you pay for it. ...
"They do a great job of sharing the ball. Defensively they are going to be aggressive on you. Whoever is in the game for them, they seem to figure it out and get the job done. You just have to be ready and come to play against the Spurs, man."
-- Steve Luhm
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