SALT LAKE CITY — It started with a dubious foul call on the opening tipoff of all things. Then less than three minutes later, Rudy Gobert was whistled with his second foul for pushing away James Harden near the Jazz basket.

As a frustrated Gobert exited the floor, he swiped a paper cup off the scorer’s table sending it flying onto the floor and was not only whistled for a technical foul but was ejected from the game.

Just like that, at the 9:13 mark of the opening quarter, the reigning NBA defensive player of the year was on his way to the showers. It appeared to be a tremendous advantage for the Rockets not to have to contend with the inside presence of Gobert, but instead it was just the opposite.

The ejection seemed to light a fire under the Jazz, who immediately showed extra intensity on the floor as they quickly took a double-digit lead that expanded to 35 points by the end of the third quarter. Derrick Favors stepped up in Gobert’s absence with perhaps his best performance of the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Jazz coasted to a 118-91 victory.

The immediate reaction by media folks …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Top stories


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