UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Rookie Walker Kessler Rejects Shot By Pelicans Star Zion Williamson

Oct 23, 2022, 5:57 PM | Updated: 7:25 pm
Walker-Kessler-Utah-Jazz-New-Orleans-Pelicans-NBA...
: Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz shoots against Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of a game at the Smoothie King Center on October 23, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Jazz rookie Walker Kessler blocked Pelicans star Zion Williamson during the opening quarter of Utah’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans hosted the Jazz at Smoothie King Center on Sunday, October 23.

With 1:47 left in the first quarter, Williams attempted to dunk the basketball and was met with the Jazz center, who stands at 7-feet-1-inch tall. Kessler swatted Williamson’s shot with his left hand and kept the scoreboard at a 22-22 tie.

During his first five minutes of action, the Auburn product recorded one rebound and a block.

This season, Kessler is averaging 9.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 0.5 steals in 20.5 minutes per game. Kessler was originally selected by Minnesota Timberwolves during the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft. He was traded to Utah in July.

At the end of the opening 12 minutes of game time, the Jazz owned a 26-24 advantage on the scoreboard. During the first quarter, the Jazz shot 40 percent overall and 30 percent from downtown.

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

Jazz vs. Pelicans

The Jazz take their blemish-free record to New Orleans to face the Pelicans on Sunday evening.

New Orleans burst out of the gate with an impressive win on the road over the Brooklyn Nets before downing the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the Pelicans second win of the season while Zion Williamson added 16 and five.

New Orleans is a dark horse to make a deep run in the Western Conference playoffs after pressing the Phoenix Suns in the opening round last year.

However, they are the third straight team the Jazz will face that is trying to integrate a major piece into the rotation after Williamson missed all of last season with a foot injury.

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