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Rudy Gobert’s Defensive Presence Helps Jazz Beat Nets

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots over Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 12, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert did a lot of the little things down the stretch that proved to be the difference in their 119-114 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

For the second straight game, Gobert was a force, finishing with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks, while making 8 of his 10 field goal attempts. The previous night in their 122-108 win over the Golden State Warriors, Gobert led the Jazz with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while shooting 11-of-12 from the field.

For instance, with under two minutes left in the game, Gobert was clogging the paint when Nets star Kyrie Irving was driving to the basket. As Gobert blocked his driving lane, Irving dished the ball to DeAndre Jordan. The reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year put his arms straight in the air to stop any easy layups when Joe Ingles went behind Jordan and stripped the ball away.

Ingles passed the ball down the court to Mike Conley in the corner, who lobbed the ball to Gobert to a spot where he had to lay the ball into the hoop.

Another example was when there was one minute left and the game was tied at 114, Donovan Mitchell ran into the paint and shot up a floater, but missed and Gobert had two Nets defenders around him and still managed to put the ball into the basket. That gave the Jazz the lead in the late stages of the game.

In Utah’s last home game when they beat the Milwaukee Bucks 103-100 in thrilling fashion, Gobert shot just twice and finished with 8 points. After the game, he said he wanted to be more involved in the offense. Since then, he scored 43 points and made 19 of his 22 attempts from the field.

Mitchell led the Jazz with 30 points, Mike Conley added 18 points and 5 assists and Emmanuel Mudiay chipped in 15 points off the bench.

The Jazz have won their last four games and have an 8-3 record. They will be back on the road on Friday night to face the Memphis Grizzlies. The game will begin at 6 p.m. and will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and ESPN.