Jazz Win Coach’s Challenge After Walker Kessler Blocks Deandre Ayton

Dec 14, 2023, 9:38 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Will Hardy won a coach’s challenge after Jazz center Walker Kessler blocked a shot by Deandre Ayton during Utah’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Will Hardy wins challenge on block by Walker Kessler

The Trailblazers hosted the Jazz at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on Thursday, December 14.

With 11:00 remaining in the third quarter, Kessler went vertical to halt a shot attempt by the Portland big man. The officials originally called Kessler for a personal foul on the play. However, after a challenge by Utah’s second-year head coach, Kessler’s play was ruled as a good blocked shot and the Jazz gained possession of the ball.

Kessler’s rejection kept Utah’s lead at 72-56.

Midway through the quarter, Kessler had 10 points on 5-6 field goals in 22 minutes on the court. The Auburn product also added seven rebounds, three assists, and five blocks.

This season, Kessler is averaging 8.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 2.5 blocks, and 0.4 steals in 25.0 minutes per contest.

Utah’s game against Portland is broadcast on KJZZ, Jazz+, NBA League Pass, KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM), KSLSports.com, and the KSL Sports app.

Jazz vs. Blazers

The Jazz will be without four starters when they face the Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

Lauri Markkanen (hamstring), John Collins (illness), Jordan Clarkson (hamstring), and Keyonte George (foot) have all been ruled out against Portland.

RELATED: MRI Reveals Keyonte George Avoided Serious Foot Injury

The Trail Blazers will be without Jerami Grant (concussion) and Robert Williams (knee). Both Malcolm Brogdon and DeAndre Ayton are listed as questionable due to knee injuries.

Jazz Face Trail Blazers For Fourth Time

The Jazz will travel to face the Trail Blazers for the fourth time in the first 25 games of the season.

Thursday’s matchup between the two teams will be the final meeting of the season.

The Jazz are 2-1 in the series this season having won both games in Utah including a 118-113 thriller on December 2.

Portland downed the Jazz 121-105 in their last game in Portland and led by as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter.

Trail Blazers Searching For Better Health

Like the Jazz, Portland is searching for better health to improve their woeful 6-16 record.

Grant has missed the team’s last three games after suffering a concussion against the Jazz after a collision with center Omer Yurtseven.

Ayton has also missed the last three games with a knee injury, while Brogdon has missed the last two.

Portland has played just three games over the last 11 days as they prepare to host the Jazz.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Threads (@kyleirelandksl), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl). and X (@kyleireland).

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Jazz Win Coach’s Challenge After Walker Kessler Blocks Deandre Ayton