About Last Night

About Last Night: Jazz win one for Rudy

Gobert ejection fuels Jazz, Suns hit new low, and Tatum scores without trying

If the Jazz or their fans were waiting for extra motivation against reigning Kia MVP James Harden and the Rockets on Thursday night, they got it just 167 seconds after tipoff.

Two early fouls saw Rudy Gobert headed to the bench. Despite being fined for comments about officiating just days earlier, the French seven-footer gave full vent to his frustration.

Gobert was immediately ejected, leaving Utah short one reigning Kia Defensive Player of the Year against one of the league’s most potent offenses.

So the Jazz, spurred by a fan base suddenly frothing at the mouth, responded by dominating the game in every aspect. Without Gobert. With only six points from Donovan Mitchell.

Derrick Favors (24 points, 10 rebounds) filled in for Gobert and then some. Joe Ingles further cemented himself as a fan favorite with physical play and versatility. Utah’s beard (Ricky Rubio) cancelled out Houston’s beard (Harden).

And though he wasn’t on the court, Gobert managed to enjoy the entire show — and work in a good sweat in the process.

As fate would have it, the Jazz won by 27 — despite the absence of their No. 27.

Darkness in the desert

Two nights after being outscored 36-9 in the first quarter, Phoenix was blitzed by the Blazers 34-9 in the same span. The back-to-back bad starts set a new precedent of historic futility.

To be fair, the Suns have been playing without their top two scorers (Devin Booker, TJ Warren), both of whom are out due to injury.

Still, it’s hard times for the once-proud franchise. The Suns (4-21) are off to their worst start in franchise history. Their star player is hurt. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2010 or had an All-Star since 2012, both the longest such stretches in team history.

In times such as these, it’s usually safe to say there’s nowhere else to go but up. We’re hoping that’s the case.

Big Jake

On the flip side of Suns-Blazers, Jake Layman had himself a career night well before halftime. The former second-round pick scored 15 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting in the first quarter, including a pair of unlikely heat-check 3-pointers.

Layman, who hadn’t played since Nov. 23, finished with a career-high 24 points in 27 minutes

Unintentionally good

Jayson Tatum is an effortless scorer. Seriously, he doesn’t even have to try. He can even get buckets by accident.

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Posted by Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, December 6, 2018

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