The Jazz needed a game like last night. After four consecutive losses (all by at least 10 points difference) they visited the Nuggets with the sole objective of getting back on track. They got it thanks to a last quarter in which they prevailed resoundingly to close the night with a 102-125 in the electronic.
Utah had to win the game several times. In the second quarter they were up 11 points, but Denver came from behind. Already in third they enjoyed 13 points, but history repeated itself. It had to be in the last twelve minutes when they finally defeated their rival with a run of 14-34. Rudy Gobert, who was returning after leaving the COVID protocols, was key with a double-double of 18 points and 19 rebounds. The center was comfortable on his return to the floor.
“I felt pretty good. Every time you play in Denver you know you’re going to be tired at some point. I felt tired in the first quarter and the third, but I still felt good, better than I usually feel in Denver. I’m grateful to be back,” he explains.
Along with the center, Donovan Mitchell also had a productive night with 31 points, as well as Bojan Bogdanovic, who contributed 21 points. The All-Star guard highlighted how good it felt for the team to get Gobert back.
“You don’t want to lose five games in a row. It was a great game against a team from our division that allowed us to win the series. With Rudy back, we want to play well. We hadn’t played well as a group and we finally found our way a little bit tonight.”
Malone points to the rest difference
You may be right. Mike Malone does not want to use it as an excuse, but he does want to make it clear that both teams did not arrive at the game in the same conditions. While Denver was playing for the third time in four nights, Utah hadn’t played since Wednesday. For him head coach of the Colorado organization has been decisive on the track.
“Give Utah credit, they’re a good basketball team. They had the luxury of coming here fresh and we didn’t, and that was one of the big factors in this match,” he says.
Regarding individual returns, Nikola Jokic achieved another triple double by finishing with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists. This is the 66th triple-double of his career and the ninth of the season, which equals Russell Westbrook this season. Also highlighted were the 20 points from Aaron Gordon and the 16 from Will Barton.
(Photograph by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)