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Stifling defense and a Ricky Rubio 3 give Jazz as good a win as you get.

David Locke

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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
Summary: A 7-0 run to close the game highlighted by a Ricky Rubio three propels the Jazz to a surprising win over on the NBA’s elite teams.
• The Jazz defense was great tonight. The Raptors are the 4th best offensive team in the NBA and the Jazz completely knocked them out of their game. The Raptors are trying to hit early in their actions and the Jazz took them out of their systems.

• The Jazz defense held the Raptors to one of their 5 poorest offensive games.

• Rudy Gobert is an incredible force and to have him back on the floor makes such an enormous impact that I am almost embarrassed that we didn’t lead every story when he was out about his absence.

• On the final play of the game Quin Snyder opted not to call a timeout. I am assuming he didn’t call timeout because teams have been doubling Donovan Mitchell and if he had the ball why call the timeout. The play call was for Donovan to go 1 on 1 and not use a pick, again because that brings another defender to the ball. Dwane Casey was screaming to Kyle Lowry to come double team and when Donovan heard that call he made the right play and swung the ball to Ricky Rubio who was wide open and hit a three to give the Jazz the deciding basket.

• Jazz jumped to 10 point lead in the first quarter with great activity. They were forcing turnovers and getting baskets in the open court. The Raptors fired back and took a 3 point lead at the half. Then the Raptors stretched the lead to 12 in the 3rd quarter and they have only lost one game all year when they trailed going to the 4th quarter. The Jazz eclipsed the entire 12 point lead and took the lead by the time they entered the 4th quarter. However, the Raptors regained control going down the stretch and it felt as though one of the Eastern Conference best would pull out the win. However, the Jazz closed on a 7-0 run.

• Joe Ingles had another huge three late in the game

• The Jazz held the Raptors stars down. DeMar DeRozan was 7 of 22 tonight with 7 free throw attempts and Kyle Lowry was 2 for 14 and 0 for 6 from three. Jonas Valanciunas has a mammoth night, but this is because the Jazz were doing so much to defend Lowry and DeRozan. Rudy Gobert was playing a little higher on the pick and roll taking away the comfort zone for DeRozan and Lowry to work. This allows Valenciunas to get behind the defense and he did. He had 28 points and 14 rebounds, 5 of the them on the offensive end.

• The Raptors are the #1 team in the NBA defending the paint. They also allow the third most amount of shots in the paint. The Jazz hit on just 21 of 49 shots in the paint. 49 is a lot of attempts, but being under 50% is a sign of how the Raptors defense works.

• Donovan Mitchell had 26 points on 9 of 20 shooting and hit on 4 of 7 from three. He knocked down some big 4th quarter shots off the bounce.

• Rudy Gobert finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks.

• Rudy Gobert’s defense was incredible and Derrick Favors had his 2nd straight super defensive outing.

• You don’t get many wins this good in an NBA season. At the 2nd best home team in the NBA, who is 17-4 against below .500 teams, who is 2nd in the East, who has 2 4 time all-stars. Impressive performance.

David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.

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