With the Utah Jazz leading the Phoenix Suns by three late in the fourth quarter, defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert made a game-saving block on Marquese Chriss.
Life in the NBA can be rough for a 19-year-old rookie. Just ask Marquese Chriss, who made two costly mistakes down the stretch of the Phoenix Suns’ 106-101 loss to the Utah Jazz Monday night.
With the Suns trailing by one and needing a late-game stop, Chriss was baited into a pump fake from Gordon Hayward and fouled him. Hayward made both free throws to extend Utah’s lead to three, but the Suns still had time to work with on the clock.
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Unfortunately, when Eric Bledsoe found Chriss streaking down the lane and opted to go for the quick two rather than take a three-pointer, defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert made another Defensive Player of the Year caliber play, pinning Chriss’ attempt against the backboard.
The Jazz recovered the ball and were able to ice the game from the foul line, improving to 27-16 for the fifth best record in the Western Conference. The Suns, meanwhile, fell to 13-28, which is dead last in the West.
Chriss is only19 years old, and will continue to improve the more he gets playing time. It was an ugly showing down the stretch against Utah for him, but give Gobert some credit: He made an excellent play on the ball against an overzealous rookie who has not backed down from anyone.
So far this season, the Stifle Tower is averaging 12.4 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game while shooting 66.2 percent from the floor. Against Phoenix Monday night, Gobert was the player of the game outside of his game-saving block, finishing with 18 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks.