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Derrick Favors expected to play tonight in Utah Jazz home opener

Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz jokes with the media during an end of season press conference at Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City, Thursday, April 14, 2016.
Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz jokes with the media during an end of season press conference at Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City, Thursday, April 14, 2016.
Ravell Call,

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz fans will get their first chance to see their team play at home tonight. As a bonus, it's looking like they'll get their first chance to see Derrick Favors play since the first game of the preseason almost a month ago.

Favors, who's been dealing with left knee soreness and an IT band issue, went through this morning's shootaround with the team. The team's medical report lists him as being "expected to play" against the Lakers.

Gordon Hayward (finger) and Alec Burks (knee) will not suit up for the Jazz at Vivint Arena.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder told media members after the morning preparation session that he will wait to see how Favors feels before the 7 p.m. tipoff to make an official announcement on the 6-10 power forward's playing status.

"We’ll see how he is before the game and make a decision then," Snyder said.

Favors would likely be limited with a minutes restriction in his return.

"Presumably," Snyder said. "That’s something that we’ll talk about with the training staff. He hasn't played in almost a month."

The Jazz, led by 29 points from Joe Johnson and 25 from Rodney Hood, are looking to get in the win column in front of a "Blue Out" crowd after falling at Portland 113-104 in the 2016-17 season opener on Tuesday.

This will be the official home debut for veteran newcomers George Hill, Boris Diaw and Johnson. Those three all started against the Blazers, but it's likely Diaw would come off the bench with Favors back in the lineup.

"I'm very excited. This is going to be my first home game as far as regular season," said Hill, who spent the first eight seasons with the Spurs and Pacers. "I know this place is going to be rocking tonight. We have some unbelievable fans. I can't wait to get out there tonight and have fun and try to pull this one out for them."

The Lakers, in their first season in the post-Kobe Bryant era, beat Houston 120-114 in a fast-paced opener for those teams Wednesday at the Staples Center. Jordan Clarkson led L.A. with 25 points and D'Angelo Russell added 20 in that win, which saw the Lakers shoot a whopping 35 3s.

"I think as much as anything they’re deep," Snyder said of the Lakers, who are now coached by Luke Walton. "I think they’re developing an identity as a team that’s just going to push in transition."

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