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Utah Jazz's C.J. Miles finds his confidence and his shot

Published February 29, 2012 11:41 pm

NBA • Jazz forward shakes off ugly stretch with 27-point outing.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Jazz's C.J. Miles had a little talk with himself over the All-Star break.

After a difficult six-game stretch when he scored only 34 total points on 11-of-38 shooting, Miles decided to slow down and play with renewed confidence.

It's working.

Miles scored a season-high 27 points Wednesday night, leading the Jazz to a 104-83 victory over Houston. Miles made 10 of his 16 field-goal attempts and worked his way to the free throw line four times in nearly 27 minutes against the Rockets.

"I've been in the habit lately, when I'm open, of rushing," Miles said. "… I finally told myself to relax and not put too much pressure on myself — just play the way I know I can play."

He smiled and added, "I've been working and working, shooting and shooting."

Miles reached double figures just once in the six games before the All-Star break. He missed 11 of his 14 attempts from the 3-point line and shot 11 free throws in 114 minutes.

He was far more efficient against Houston.

"Over the break," Miles said, "I had a chance to be in the gym and remind myself of the reason I'm here — what I can do and the reason they put me in the position I'm in."

During a four-minute stretch of the second quarter, Miles came off the bench and scored nine points. He helped rally the Jazz, who trailed by as many as eight early in the first quarter.

"My thing is to come into the game and bring energy," Miles said. "That's what they ask me to do. My thing is to come out and make plays, whether it's scoring or defensively or passing. Tonight, I was able to make some shots."

With Miles leading the way, the Jazz scored over 100 points and won for only the second time since Jan. 21.

"C.J. was huge for us," said coach Tyrone Corbin. " … I thought he did a great job coming out and being focused and he got himself going. He made shots. He attacked the basket."

luhm@sltrib.com

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Heating up

C.J. Miles' stats in Utah's two games since the All-Star break:

Opponent Min FGs 3s FTs Reb Pts

Sacramento 20:32 4-11 1-4 4-4 2 13

Houston 26:35 10-16 3-7 4-4 1 27