Rookie Walker Kessler Cleans Up Miss, Throws Down Reverse Dunk
SALT LAKE CITY – Jazz center Walker Kessler continues to wow during his rookie campaign, using great fundamentals to get a first half dunk over Cleveland’s Jarrett Allen.
The Cavaliers hosted the Jazz at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Monday, December 19.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 20, 2022
Kessler, averaging 2.2 offensive rebounds per game, secured excellent position to gather up a second quarter Malik Beasley missed three. Calm beyond his years, Kessler immediately took the ball back up for a reverse dunk to make it 45-32 Cavaliers with 4:58 left in the half.
In his first year out of Auburn, Kessler is averaging 6.4 points and six rebounds per game while playing 17.1 minutes per game.
Kessler has four points three rebounds and a block as the Jazz trail Cleveland 62-44 at halftime.
Cavs Honor Former Teammates
“Welcome back, Bull!” the Cavs tweeted alongside a short video of Collin Sexton highlights.
Sexton was drafted by Cleveland and played for the Cavaliers from 2018-22.
The Cavaliers also honored Lauri Markkanen, The Finnish forward played in Cleveland last season after he was traded from the Chicago Bulls.
Lauri’s back in the building! pic.twitter.com/ibq5UrRR9k
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 20, 2022
Cleveland also gave a shoutout to Jazz rookie Ochai Agbaji. The Kansas product was was selected by the Cavs with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The three former Cavaliers were traded to the Jazz in September as part of a trade centered on three-time NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell.
Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Jazz look to rebound from Bucks loss
The Jazz lacked energy throughout the night and nowhere was it more apparent than on the glass.
Milwaukee won the rebounding battle 54-29 as no Jazz player secured more than Jarred Vanderbilt’s six.
Bobby Portis grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Milwaukee who also outrebounded the Jazz 15-7 on the offensive glass.
LISTEN LIVE: The @utahjazz continue their road trip with a stop in Cleveland to face @spidadmitchell and the @cavs on https://t.co/4kU961CZ7h and the @KSLSportsZone.#TakeNote https://t.co/l9NMjVqX19 pic.twitter.com/4V5eaP37d6
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) December 20, 2022
“We have a very small margin for error in that area,” Will Hardy said after the game. “So you can have three players go to the glass and when two guys on a given possession are not locked in and don’t go, we get hurt because the other team does have more size than we do.”
The Jazz are the league’s 13th-best rebounding team overall, but that’s deceptive as they are the fifth-leading offensive rebounding team and the worst defensive rebounding team.
Utah’s game against Cleveland marks the Jazz’s first meeting with Mitchell since the superstar guard was traded in September.
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