Jazz notes • Veteran backup has teammates' support for spot start.
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With Mo Williams sidelined because of a severely sprained right thumb, veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley moved into the Jazz's starting lineup Wednesday night against Golden State.
Tinsley has been an invaluable reserve since coming to Utah. He has made 11 starts over the last two seasons for coach Tyrone Corbin.
"When you get an opportunity to play more minutes," Tinsley said, "you have to take advantage of it and hold it down until [Williams] comes back."
More of a scorer, Williams averages 12.9 points this season.
Tinsley averages 3.5 points and 4.9 assists. He finished with 11 points and four assists in 27 minutes in Utah's 97-93 win at Orlando on Sunday.
Asked the difference between starting and coming off the bench, Tinsley said, "Still being aggressive, but making sure we get a good shot every time making sure we're in the offense. …
"I've been around. I pick my spots when to be aggressive knowing I've got a lot of people on the first unit who can score the ball."
Said teammate Paul Millsap: "Jamaal has been doing this for years. He knows what he's doing when he gets into games."
Warriors off to a fast start
Golden State is one of the NBA's most surprising teams so far.
The Warriors won eight of their previous 11 games before visiting Utah.
Oddly, a 118-115 overtime loss to Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers last Saturday increased coach Mark Jackson's expectations.
"We competed," he said. "… We battled. We contested shots. We put ourselves in position to win. We didn't win. So that loss hurts.
"At the same time, I thought we did some good things. We showed we're here for the long run. Now it's about continuing to learn, continuing to build, continuing to improve."
Millsap knows the new-look Warriors are vastly improved
"You are used to seeing them at the bottom. Now they are right in the thick of things," he said. "… One thing I noticed watching them: their chemistry is pretty good. They are playing like a pretty good basketball team."
If the Jazz want to reach the playoffs, Golden State is one of the teams they must overtake.
"We feel like we're better," Millsap said. "We just have to get out there and prove it."
By Jan. 12, the Jazz will have played 24 of their 41 road games this season.
The taxing schedule is one reason why Corbin rolled the dice and gave his players two full days off before playing the Warriors.
"We needed some rest," he said. "… It concerns you a little bit because you get out of your routine. But these guys have been great at responding."