Rudy Gobert's perfect shooting night, incredible game-saving block helps Jazz beat Mavericks

Rudy Gobert has been named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in each of the last two seasons, joining the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Ben Wallace and Hakeem Olajuwon as multiple-time winners. Early on Saturday evening, he showed why he's one of the favorites to take home the honor again. 

The opening game of the day didn't disappoint, and with just over 30 seconds to play, the Utah Jazz were clinging to a 109-107 lead over the Dallas Mavericks. Looking for a tying or go-ahead basket, the Mavericks went to a pick-and-roll with Luka Doncic and Delon Wright, and when the Jazz ran two defenders at Doncic, he tossed it back to his guard at the top of the key. As Gobert tried to recover, Wright got a step on him, and looked like he was going to zoom in for a layup. Not quite.

Even though he was caught off-balance, Gobert showed off some nice footwork and quickness to spin, plant and get going back towards the rim, There, he met Wright and came up with an incredible game-saving rejection. 

The Jazz recovered the loose ball, and went on to win 112-107, as the Mavericks never scored the rest of the way. Gobert is obviously not the quickest guy around, and he's been made to look foolish when he gets stuck out on the perimeter, but this was a clear example of how he's improved in that regard. And of course the length and timing at the rim has never been in question. This was just an amazing play, and deserves all the praise it will get. 

But defense wasn't the only area Gobert excelled in this game. Along with his five blocks and 17 rebounds, he scored 22 points on a perfect 8-of-8 from the field, which resulted in this beautiful shot chart. 

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Gobert's shot chart from the win NBA.com/Stats

Thanks to Gobert's efforts, the Jazz recorded their fourth win in a row, and have now won nine of their last 10 games. As a result of their hot streak, they've jumped up into second place in the Western Conference at 32-13. After a bit of a disappointing start, they're starting to look more like the team everyone envisioned heading into the season. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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