UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Forward Lauri Markkanen Posterizes Wolves’ Rudy Gobert

Oct 21, 2022, 6:33 PM | Updated: 7:45 pm
Lauri-Markkanen-Utah-Jazz-Minnesota-Timberwolves-NBA...
Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz dunks the ball over Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter of the game at Target Center on October 21, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen put former Jazzman and current Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert on a poster with a big dunk during Utah’s game at Minnesota.

The Timberwolves hosted the Jazz at Target Center on Friday, October 21.

With 7:26 remaining in the opening quarter, Utah’s Mike Conley fed Markkanen in the line with a bounce pass. The forward drove the lane before rising up and throwing down a right hand hammer dunk over the former Jazz star and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Markkanen’s jam cut Minnesota’s lead to 17-10.

The Wolves took the first timeout of the contest with a 21-13 lead at the 6:21 mark of the first quarter. At the stoppage, Markkanen led the Jazz with seven points on 3-4 shooting, including 1-2 from beyond the arc. The forward added an assist during his first five minutes on the hardwood.

During his first six minutes of action, Gobert had three rebounds and two blocks.

Utah’s game against Minnesota is broadcast on AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and KSL Sports Zone.

Jazz vs. Timberwolves

Rudy Gobert on playing Utah

Rudy Gobert said he is rooting for the Utah Jazz to succeed even now as he plays for the rival Minnesota Timberwolves.

The all-world defender and former Jazzman said it would be strange to see his former team when they meet on Friday night in Minnesota, but expects a fun game.

Both the Jazz and Timberwolves got wins in their season openers before the highly-touted matchup.

The Timberwolves opened their season with a narrow 115-108 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

Gobert was brilliant in his Minnesota debut scoring 23 points and grabbing 16 rebounds on 10-15 shooting to open the season.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year said he was looking forward to the game two matchups with the Jazz after Wednesday’s win.

“It’s definitely going to be weird,” Gobert told The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. “Those jerseys are a little different but it’s still going to be weird to play against someone with Utah on them.”

Gobert spent the first nine seasons of his NBA career with the Jazz where he became one of the most decorated players in team history.

Since 2016, the center has been named to six consecutive All-Defensive first teams, has earned four All-NBA honors, and received three All-Star nods.

The Jazz have undergone significant turnover since Gobert last called Utah home, but the future Hall of Famer said he still anticipates an enjoyable reunion.

“Even though Quin [Snyder] is not there anymore, it’s still going to be fun,” Gobert said. “It’s going to be fun, and you know it’s all love for me. I want to see these guys succeed and I’m sure they want to see me succeed, too.”

Jazz arrive in Minnesota with 1-0 record

While the Timberwolves were expected to beat the Thunder in their season opener, the Jazz turned heads on opening night by lowing out the Denver Nuggets 123-102.

Collin Sexton led the Jazz with 20 points off the bench while rookie Walker Kessler recorded a historic stat line in his rookie debut.

Kessler is the first player in NBA history to record a double-double without missing a shot from the field in his rookie debut.

The Jazz scored 75 points against the Nuggets in the first half and resisted Denver’s attempts to close the game in the third and fourth quarters.

“They threw a big punch in the second half to get back in the game, they have really good players and they’re well coached,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “Our guys just stuck together. We maintained our identity on the defensive and offensive end well tonight.”

Seven Jazz players finished in double figures while each player who saw regular rotational minutes recorded at least one assist in the win.

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