One hundred and forty-one nights after his positive coronavirus test triggered an NBA season suspension, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert scored the first points of the league’s restart, transferring a drop-step on former teammate Derrick Favre early Occupy captured. Thursday night game against the New Orleans Pelicans in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
More important, Gobert also scored the final points of the game, hitting a pair of go-ahead free throws with 6.9 seconds remaining.
“I’m just grateful,” Gobert told ESPN in an interview after the Jazz’s 106–104 victory at Walt Disney World’s HP Field House. “I am grateful to be able to do what I love to do. What I am personally doing and what is going on in the world right now, inspiring millions of children around the world That is all it takes to be able to give and spread positivity. Blessings.
“And of course it’s great to start with a win.”
It was also a fitting way to end the win, as shooting guard Donovan Mitchell defended with defensive penetration and fed Gobert to lead the free throw. Fouls of Favor prevented a Gortle from finishing with a highlight-worthy dunk, but the play still stood as proof that the jazz co-stars who dominated the franchise’s news coverage for months were a productive act. Could continue the partnership.
“Donovan was trying to make the right play and he did,” said Gobert, who had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in the win, which was sealed when Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram took a 3- at the buzzer. Missed the pointer. “Many people might not be able to say the things they want to say to try to break up our team. Like I said, life works in mysterious ways.”
The jazz pair of All-Stars did not speak for the Hyatt’s first month because Mitchell, who tested positive for COVID — 19 hours after Gobert, about the coronavirus epidemic before going about the dung 7-foot Was troubled by K’s cavalry attitude. Was infected
However, they both acknowledge that there was friction between them before the epidemic, mainly to complain about how often Michelle Gobber and the big man’s tendency to pass.
“We’ve moved on, and we’ve talked about using this whole experience to get better, and I think those two guys did it,” said Jazz coach Queen Snyder.
After several productive private conversations, with each taking accountability, both Gobert and Michelle publicly expressed confidence in recent weeks that they could continue to win together and to focus on the team as a whole Desire They reiterated that stance in the wake of working together on the crucial game in Thursday’s win.
“He also stops talking about it, to be honest with you,” said Mitchell, who took two of his five Goberts in the third quarter, when the Jazz were rallying from 16-point. Loss. “In the end, we’re basketball players. We go out there and make the right game. They did one hell of a job. I try to find my way and find people who are open. For me, in the end. The game. , This is about making perfect reading. I have said a thousand times that I am trying to be a better passer, a better playwright as a whole. To be able to do that I only step I show. ‘Ve made.
“It’s just trusting me and he’s trusting me. That’s really it. … He had the first two digits, and for him [play] To finish it, it should seal everything, as far as talking about that extra baggage.
Mitchell scored eight of his 20 points in the final five minutes, dismissing the Pelicans single-handedly during crutch time as the Jazz ended their comeback. According to research by ESPN Stats and Information, it matched the biggest comeback of the season, as it implicated the Portland Trail Blazers in a Feb. 7 win on Feb. 16.
Mitchell had the Jazz’s last eight points tied with the score when he slid down the middle of the lane after beating Junior Hall of New York guard Junior Hall, with a back-to-back dribble, forced help. Did the favor and made a beautiful – close to Gobert.
“To pretend he was late and drop the ball to Rudy and then throw two free to Rudy, which shows a lot of confidence in your teammates,” Snyder said. “Maybe I’ll change my mind and say it’s poetic, but I don’t want to do it too much. Those two guys have done that hundreds and hundreds at last. [three] The year, the time that they are playing together. It is wonderful to see them connected to the court. “
Gobert still had to sink a pressure-filled free throw, which was a problem for him. He entered the game on free throws 1 to 8 times in the final 10 seconds of the fourth season or this season of overtime, according to research by ESPN Stats and Info, the worst clip of any player with at least five attempts (12.5% ). Such situations.
But Gobert did both free throws with the game on the line, saying he only focused on how he kept the ball and his follow-through, not the magnitude of the moment.
After the game ended, the final conversation between the players on the floor was underway to exchange a high-five with Gobert before Mitchell’s center’s TNT sideline interview.
“Every team has its ups and downs,” Gobert said. “The most important thing is the way you react. It’s a big man to take the high road in life. We’re both doing that right now. We both keep trying to improve each other. Teams are needed and our community is needed. ”