Ingles, who held the longest active streak in the NBA, missed Utah’s 131-118 win over the Bucks because of right Achilles soreness. He hadn’t missed a game since Dec. 16, 2015, against New Orleans. Including the postseason, Ingles had played in 418 straight games.
“I don’t know what the big deal is, honestly,” Ingles told ESPN. “I played because I want to and I’m healthy. … If I’m healthy, I’m playing. If the professionals tell me not to, I’m out. Been lucky it lasted.”
Over the years, Ingles played through a middle finger sprain and left ankle sprain, and even after learning that his son, Jacob, was diagnosed with autism.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder, speaking before Friday’s game, said Ingles’ streak was a testament to “his toughness.”
“I know he’d be playing if he could,” Snyder said. “There’s been a lot of times that he’s played through pain and probably an injury that he hasn’t told us about at times. But, obviously, you miss a player in the short run like Joe, but he’ll be back.
“He’s just gotta get healthy and we try to do what we can do to make up for not having him. But as much as anything, it makes you pause for a second and you reflect on what a streak of consecutive games like that means and what it says about Joe, his toughness, his commitment, what type of teammate he is. You pause and reflect for a second and you understand why you respect him like you do.”
In his absence in Milwaukee, the Jazz finished with 25 3-pointers, their most in a game in franchise history. They also became the second team with 25 3-pointers in a game this season, joining the Bucks, and were the first team in NBA history to have five players each make at least four 3-pointers in the same game.
Despite the Jazz being red-hot, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell said he noticed a difference with Ingles not playing.
“It was weird. There were a lot of things I didn’t realize that Joe does until he’s not there,” Mitchell said. “It’s not even just the game. We’ve got pregame warmups, we’ve got a little handshake. We’ve got intros, we’ve got a handshake. Him yelling certain things in the locker room with 20 minutes on the clock … and then, there’s just little things that you miss and then you get on the court and then his presence handling the ball, defending on the perimeter, talking. But, I think, we have a tendency as a team, when guys are out, especially a guy like Joe, it’s next-man-up mentality and everybody was locked in and ready to go.”
Ingles, 33, is averaging 10.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists this season for the Jazz.
His streak was the longest by a Jazz player since John Stockton from 1997 to 2003, when he played 442 consecutive regular-season games.