Jazz

Jazz Edge Out Pelicans to Kick-Off the Bubble

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As all eyes were on NBA Restart 2020 in Orlando, the Utah Jazz earned a solid win against a strong New Orleans Pelicans team, with Rudy Gobert sealing the game on a pair of free throws.

What a ride it’s been to get back to basketball, huh?

Months after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and the league shut down as a result, we finally got to see the Utah Jazz back in action.

Questions still surround the relationship of Gobert and Utah’s young star Donovan Mitchell, but that seems to be off to the side for another day. Right before Gobert’s case of COVID-19 was confirmed, he was seen not taking it seriously, possibly transferring the disease to Mitchell. Regardless if Gobert was the first to transmit the virus, his carelessness definitely strained the stars’ relationship at the time.

Utah Struggles in 1st Half, But Resurfaces Quickly

Both teams were relatively even in the first period. Leading into the half, the Jazz fell flat and saw their deficit grow to 12 points at the break.

New Orleans carried a lead as big as 16, but the Jazz stormed back late and held the Pelicans to 17 points in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Rudy Gobert’s return to action and clutch shots at the end, Mitchell poured in 20 points of his own alongside Mike Conley who also pitched in 20.

Newer Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson produced  for the team as well, leading the team in scoring with 23 points as a big part of the second half surge.

Shooting 44% from the field, the Utah Jazz and knocking down 85% of their free throws was enough to overcome an 8-34 shooting slump from the three-point line.

Utah can’t afford to play every game as close as they played against the Pelicans, but a win is a win and in the Western Conference, this helps the Jazz in their fight for the best seeding situation possible.

While they won’t catch the Los Angeles Lakers for first place in the conference, the 2nd-seeded Los Angeles Clippers are just two games ahead of them in the standings after losing to the Lakers last night.

The next contest for the Jazz comes on Saturday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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About Keith Rivas

Keith is based In Salt Lake City and covers the Jazz for TLSM. Follow him on Twitter @mrkeithrivas for all things Utah Jazz.

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