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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) reacts after scoring his 12th point in the first quarter, in NBA action, Utah vs. The Denver Nuggets, in Salt Lake City, Monday, November 11, 2013.
Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward will play Friday vs. Spurs
NBA » Utah swingman sat out Thursday’s practice with bruised shoulder
First Published Nov 15 2013 01:29 pm • Last Updated Nov 19 2013 09:38 pm

A bruised right shin kept Gordon Hayward out of practice Thursday, but the Utah Jazz swingman says he’ll be ready to go tonight against the San Antonio Spurs.

"It feels a lot better," said Hayward. "It will be fine for tonight. … We need every win we can get and the Spurs are one of the best teams in the league, so I have to play."

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The game tips at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ROOT Sports.

After picking up their first win of the season, the Jazz have been "a little more energized" in practice and shootaround, Hayward said.

"I think getting a win did that for us," he said. "We also realize we’re still in last place. One win doesn’t really change the season, but it helps us get started and gets us back on the right track."

If Utah wants to make it two in a row, it will have to take on a Spurs team with a mirror-image record (8-1).

"Seems like every year that people doubt them and they still are at the top of the leader boards at the end," Hayward said. "They’re just a really good team and they all play their roles extremely well. They know how to win basketball games."

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz




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