Gobert's return powers Jazz over Nuggets, bags first win after 4-game losing skid

 by: Justine Juyad

PHOTO: Thejnotes.com


Rudy Gobert provided what the Utah Jazz missed in their last four games as he posted his 15th consecutive double-double performance in a blowout win against the Denver Nuggets, 125-102,  at the Ball Arena, Monday.


The 3-time Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) marked 18 points and 19 rebounds with an efficient 7-7 shooting from the field, while his all-star duo Donovan Mitchell exploded for 31 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals to win their third meeting against their play-off rival this season.


"Tonight we came in and the energy was there, the communication is there," said the French center Gobert on their first win, redeeming his last five-game exit due to catching COVID-19.


Bojan Bogdanovic also provided 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Jordan Clarkson finished with 16 off the bench.


The Salt Lake City-based team nursed an early 8-point deficit and closed up the opening quarter with a four-point lead as Clarkson buried back-to-back triples with time winding down.


Utah then managed to halt Denver's third-quarter surge by executing flawless ball movements, limiting their turnovers to retake the lead en route to the final quarter.


Meanwhile, Jazz started to pull away as they went for a 15-0 scoring surge from third to fourth quarter with Nikola Jokic on the bench and continued to dominate until the final buzzer, outscoring the Nuggets by 20 in the decider.  


Jokic, the reigning season MVP, did it all again and posted his 66th career triple-double, 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 14 assists, tying Russel Westbrook for the most in the NBA this season with nine—but his record-slotting feat wasn't enough to carry his team to a win.


Aaron Gordon and Will Barton also scored 20 and 16, respectively, in a losing effort.


Both teams will face LA squads next game as the Jazz face the Lakers Monday night, while Nuggets will square off versus Clippers on Wednesday night.



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On the other hand, Minnesota Timberwolves destroyed the short-handed Golden State Warriors, 119-99 as Karl Anthony Towns led the way with 26 points and 11 rebounds to improve their record to 21-22.


The Phoenix Suns remained at the top of the Western Conference as they took their 33rd win of the season in a 135-108 victory against the Detroit Pistons behind Devin Booker's 30 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.


In Northern California, Christian Wood joined the double-double club of the day following his 23 points and 14 rebounds output in the Houston Rockets 118-112 win against the Sacramento Kings.

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