The first official game of the NBA restart is in the books, and the Utah Jazz took the honor of being the first team to pick up a win in the bubble. After a positive Covid-19 test for starting center Rudy Gobert put the league on pause, this was a great way for them to get their groove back.
The Jazz started out strong, building a double digit lead in the first quarter. The Pelicans slowly gained ground and ended the opening quarter up by three. New Orleans owned the entire second quarter. They went 15-28 from the field and tightened up their defense entering the half up 60-48.
The Pels were able to maintain their lead until the last four minutes of the game, as cold shooting enabled a Utah comeback. Donovan Mitchell scored eight straight points in the final minutes of the contest to lead the Jazz to the come from behind win. He ended with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Mike Conley added 20 points of his own, and Jordan Clarkson led the team in scoring with 23 off the bench. The Jazz are without Bojan Bogdonavic, and his offensive presence was noticeably missed in this game.
The Pelicans are gunning for a playoff spot, and will need to see better production from their starters to make that happen. Zion scored effortlessly (13 points in 15 minutes) but minutes restrictions are still holding him back. All-star Brandon Ingram and guard Lonzo Ball also struggled shooting, combining for 9 of 33 from the field.
There were some silly fouls and turnovers throughout the game, as both teams tried to get into rhythm after the lengthy hiatus. Despite the rustiness, it was an entertaining and competitive game that set the tone for the rest of the NBA restart.
Featured photo credit: Yahoo! Sports
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