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Burks returns to Jazz’s lineup

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Sue Ogrocki | The Associated Press Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks (10) goes up for a shot in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (4) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Oklahoma City won 116-96. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

By aaron falk

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Mar 30 2014 11:37PM
Updated Mar 30, 2014 11:37PM

Oklahoma City • After missing four straight games with a sprained left ankle, Jazz shooting guard Alec Burks was back in the lineup Sunday.

It took a moment to shake the rust off.

The attacking guard was in familiar position, getting back to the line quickly upon checking into the game. But he hit on just one of his first four free-throw attempts. Handling the ball in a first-quarter pick and roll, Burks dribbled right and lost it out of bounds.

"When I was talking to him on the court, he said he felt like he was moving a little too fast," forward Marvin Williams said. "I told him, when you have time off your timing is the first thing to go. You just have to tell yourself to slow down a little bit. … He slowed down and he got back to the same old Alec."

Burks finished the game with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting.

The Jazz’s spark plug off the bench said he was initially concerned about re-injuring the ankle, which he sprained in a game of one-on-one during practice last week.

"I was scared of planting it," he said. "I thought something would happen. But in the rhythm of the game, I just got going."

Burks had the ankle wrapped again after the Jazz’s 116-96 point loss, but said that he was not experiencing any pain.

"It’s good," he said. "It feels real good."

Up and at ’em

Sunday’s 2 p.m. CDT start through off some routines.

"I’m ready for it. It just kind of threw me off a little bit," Derrick Favors said before the game, though he lamented being unable to get his usual 11/2- to 2-hour pregame nap.

Swingman Gordon Hayward also said the matinee matchup through off his usual game-day approach.

"I usually take a nap and kind of have all day to get ready and prepare yourself," he said. "Today there was a breakfast meeting. Then I went back to sleep for an hour, got up and had to take a shower. It definitely throws your routine off."

Scoring punch

After facing Kevin Durant on Sunday, the Jazz will have to deal with Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks on Monday night.

"I have to do a good job on him," said Jazz forward Marvin Williams. "[Richard Jefferson] is going to have to do a job on him. I’m sure Gordon is going to have to spend some time on him as well. It’s got to be a collective effort. But they’re going to be hungry. They need a win. They’re still chasing a playoff spot."

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz

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