by Elmer Mejia | The NBA is back, and the Utah Jazz had the honor to restart the first official basketball game since the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was an emotional beginning as every player and staff member from both teams knelt for the national anthem. The Jazz started off great in the first couple minutes of the first quarter. Rudy Gobert scored the first points of the restart since the season was suspended back in March 11, 2020. They created a healthy lead and looked good from the get-go.
While the Jazz started the game off strong, they went ice cold in the last three minutes of the first quarter, not scoring a single point. They went 0-8 and had six turnovers after having a healthy 19-8 lead. The struggle continued as the Pelicans scored 34 points in the second quarter. The Jazz had too many turnovers and kept struggling.
It is clear that the Jazz missed Bojan Bogdanovic. Donovan Mitchell was quiet in the first half with only seven points, one assist, and two rebounds. Gobert had four points and seven rebounds. Mike Conley was the leading scorer going into halftime with 14 points and one assist in 16 minutes. Jordan Clarkson was the second leading scorer with 10 points and two rebounds.
In the third quarter the Jazz played better by cutting down the Pelicans lead by eight. They seemed more composed and focused. They cut down on the turnovers and played as a unit. Even after losing Gobert for a long period of time due to a poke to his eye, the Jazz continued to play well.
In the fourth quarter, the Jazz continued to close the gap and Gobert came back to the court. They finally led the game again since the first quarter when they were ahead 23-21. The Jazz were controlling the Pelicans who didn’t score for three minutes and change. Mitchell took over in the fourth quarter as both teams were going back and forth in scoring.
The last two minutes were intense as they were dead locked at 104-104 with 6.9 seconds left. Gobert got fouled and made both clutch free throws taking the Jazz ahead. The Jazz got lucky by Ingram’s buzzer beater three point shot going in and out. Jordan Clarkson was the leading scorer for the Jazz with 23 points. The Utah Jazz went on to win 106-104. Their record is now 42-23.
It was a great and much-needed win for the Jazz. They showed character and perseverance and got the job done. They rallied from behind after being down for most of the game. With the win they keep themselves in the top 4 of the Western Conference standings.
Featured image courtesy Yahoo.com.