OKLAHOMA CITY — Utah Jazz point guard John Lucas III played it off as an ordinary preseason game Sunday night, but it was still his first NBA start at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Oklahoma City is just 45 minutes south of his alma mater, Oklahoma State University.
“When I come here, I’m focused on the game,” Lucas said before the Jazz’s 88-82 loss to the Thunder. “I don’t try to reach out to too many people. I just get caught up with what I’m supposed to do when I come down here, and that’s come in and try to get a win and play to the best of my ability. I played here a lot (in college). This is like my second home.”
Lucas has started just two regular-season games in the NBA, both with Chicago. On Sunday, he finished with three points on 1 of 7 shooting. He played nearly 27 minutes in the absence of rookie Trey Burke.
Hudson battling ankle sprain
Jazz guard Lester Hudson missed a day of practice earlier this week with an ankle sprain but saw some significant minutes against the Thunder.
He played almost 13 minutes and scored four points as he continues his bid to make the Utah roster.
Hudson said his ankle injury, though, is no longer an issue. His biggest concern was missing a day of practice, which he feared could set him back.
“It’s tough,” Hudson said. “I didn’t want to take the day off, but you always want to be healthy out there. I’m 100 percent now.”
Jeremy Evans (rotator cuff), Rudy Gobert (sprained shoulder) and Scott Machado (lower abdominal contusion) did not play due to injuries. Backup forward Andris Biedrins played 11 minutes and grabbed one rebound before fouling out.