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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks (10) knocks the ball out of the hands of New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6), in NBA action, Utah Jazz vs. the New York Knicks, at EnergySolutions arena, Monday, March 31, 2014
Utah Jazz: Alec Burks’ return a good sign for struggling team
Jazz notes » Guard put up big numbers in return against Knicks.
First Published Apr 02 2014 02:41 pm • Last Updated Apr 02 2014 10:19 pm

Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks is back.

After missing four games because of a sprained left ankle and an admittedly rusty performance Sunday at Oklahoma City, Burks was at his driving-slashing-acrobatic best in Monday night’s 92-83 loss to the Knicks.

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He finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The only blemish on his stat line were five turnovers, which matched a season-high.

Coach Tyrone Corbin liked what he saw.

"His movement, his attacking ability," Corbin said. "He was spectacular getting to the rim. … He went down the lane and finished. I felt like we wasn’t holding back at all."

Burks was injured on March 21.

"Last play of practice," he said. "Stepped in somebody’s foot. It happens. It hurt. It hurt worse than I thought it would. I had to sit down."

The Jazz went 1-3 without Burks. They defeated Orlando (89-88) but lost to Detroit (114-94), Memphis (91-87) and New Orleans (102-95).

"I saw them fighting — fighting every game," Burks said. "They lost a few, but I saw that fight every game."

Burks was sidelined for eight days before determining he could return for the Jazz’s 116-96 loss at Oklahoma City.

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"After I got hurt," Burks said, "I waited until I could play one-on-one. When I could play one-on-one at the speed I wanted to play, I knew I was better."

The Jazz have seven games remaining, starting Friday night in a rematch with the Pelicans at EnergySolutions Arena.

"We’ve got to finish strong," Burks said. "That’s all we can worry about. We’re going to finish strong. That’s all people are talking about."

A cause close to Ian Clark’s heart

As part of the NBA’s support of autism awareness, rookie Ian Clark met some students from the Pingree School and their families before the game against New York.

It’s a cause close to Clark’s heart.

"I have a little cousin who has autism," he said. "I grew up with him. And a sister-in-law, too. So I have a relationship with [autism] and know how it can affect lives. I want to be involved in it."

Asked about his meeting with the Pingree students, Clark said, "It’s always a good feeling to put a smile on their faces."

‘A chance to reflect’

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