The night before, he was able to play a whole quarter on a bum knee.

On Saturday night against the Brooklyn Nets, the Jazz exercised caution and decided to sit Rudy Gobert. It was the first game of the year Gobert missed, after suffering a right knee contusion when he was hit by a diving Dion Waiters against the Miami Heat.

While Gobert initially called the dive “a dirty play” on Friday night after the game, he backed down on a follow-up question about it.

“I don’t know, he probably was just trying to get ball,” Gobert said. “Maybe he didn’t see me, but it was a pretty good tackle.”

Gobert also seemed to have skepticism about the play on social media postgame, tweeting “Dove for the ball right…” along with a video clip of the play.

But coach Quin Snyder said he didn’t believe Waiters had malicious intent.

“My focus was just on Rudy and him being OK — not anybody doing anything,” he said. “There’s nobody out there trying to hurt anybody.”

The Jazz called him “questionable” by midday before the second of the back-to-back games, then said he would warm up before the team made a game-time decision. Thabo Sefolosha slid into the starting lineup in Gobert’s place, with Derrick Favors moving to center.

The team also started rookie Donovan Mitchell for a second straight game, bringing Rodney Hood off the bench.

Through 12 games, Gobert has averaged 13.9 points and 10.5 rebounds, while blocking 30 shots.

Russell finds home in Brooklyn

After an infamous social media incident as a rookie, it seemed that D’Angelo Russell always had a hard time catching on with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson doesn’t seem to feel that way now that the former No. 2 pick is in Brooklyn, traded away over the summer to make room for Lonzo Ball. Averaging 20.5 points, 5.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds a game, he’s getting a career resurgence.

Atkinson gleamed thinking of the potential of Russell’s development — noting he’s still just 22 years old.

“Love coaching him,” he said. “His spirit’s been excellent since Day 1.”

Former Jazzmen return

The Nets roster features two former Jazz players: DeMarre Carroll, who started on Saturday night, and Trevor Booker, who came off the bench.

Carroll played for the Jazz from 2012 to 2014, while Booker’s stint in Utah lasted between 2014 and 2016.