Gobert defense keys Jazz escape over Bulls
LOS ANGELES, USA – Utah won a close one in Chicago, where the Jazz's two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert came up big in the waning seconds for a 102-98 victory in the NBA on Thursday, January 2 (Friday, January 3, Philippine time).
The French center forced a miss from Chicago's Zach LaVine with the Jazz up 100-98 and less than 25 seconds remaining.
Utah corralled the rebound and Donovan Mitchell made two free throws to give the Jazz a four-point lead.
Gobert blocked another LaVine attempt with 7.6 seconds left and the Jazz emerged with the victory in a game that saw 13 lead changes.
“We knew that they were a very aggressive team, especially Zach, so I just had to do what I do and be there for my teammates,” said Gobert, who finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
Bojan Bogdanovic, who led the Jazz with 19 points, said Gobert's contribution was key.
"He's huge every single game for just his presence in the paint," Bogdanovic said. "It's big. Whoever's coming into the paint, he's changing every single shot."