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Jazz notes: Brandon Rush makes Jazz debut

Published November 5, 2013 5:48 pm

Jazz notes • Guard missed 1 year, 3 days in recovery for torn ACL.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Brooklyn, N.Y. •├é┬áBrandon Rush took off from the edge of the key, the ball in his right hand waiting to be dunked.

But a bump from Memphis' Zach Randolph in the first quarter of the season's second game, changed everything for Rush.

"I heard it pop, so I knew what it was," said Rush, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on the play. "I was devastated, but I knew what it would take to come back from that type of injury."

One year and three days later, Rush is returning to action.

Before tipoff Tuesday night against the Nets, Utah Jazz coach Ty Corbin announced Rush would play for the first time since his injury.

"I'm amped to just get out there, get some run up and down against a real opponent and try to build some confidence back in my knee," Rush said.

One thing he doesn't need confidence in right now is his shot.

"It's feeling good," said Rush, who shot 45 percent from 3 the season before his injury. "I don't think you can lose the touch. That's all I've been doing for the last 9-10 months is just working on shooting and dribbling and stuff."

While his minutes will be limited as he gets back into game shape, Rush's return is certainly welcomed by the Jazz, who have played the first three games of the year with just 10 healthy players.

"It's been tough [watching from the bench]," Rush said. "I know they need some help out there — guys to make shots and play defense. That's what I'm here for. I'm happy to get back out there."

Making connections

For seven seasons in New Jersey, Jason Kidd could look to the right side of the court and see Richard Jefferson waiting for a pass so he could drive to the basket.

"He made the game easy for me," said Kidd, now the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

The reunion between Kidd and Jefferson, now the Jazz's starting small forward, wasn't the only connection at Barclay's Center on Tuesday.

Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko played 10 years in Utah. Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams, meanwhile, came into Tuesday night having never beaten Utah, the team that drafted him third overall in 2005, in four tries since being traded by the Jazz to the Nets in exchange for current Jazz forward Derrick Favors, among other considerations.

The pain remains

Forward Jeremy Evans missed his fourth straight game to open the season as he deals with the effects of a rotator cuff injury. Corbin said Evans is on track in his rehabilitation, but he is still not pain-free in his shoulder.