He doesn’t need to be spectacular (on offense) in any way just to be efficient. That’s what he does on the defensive end. He allows his weight and size to really be impactful. Its’ a huge part of who we are. We need him in the game. —Jazz coach Quin Snyder
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sometimes, statistics don’t tell the whole story.
Take Rudy Gobert’s game in Sacramento on Sunday, for instance.
Gobert went scoreless in 22 minutes. He took only three shots, grabbed just eight rebounds, didn’t get a blocked shot and made two turnovers.
Bad night, right?
The way the Utah Jazz played while he was on the court belies his unimpressive stat line.
With Gobert on the court, the Jazz outscored the Kings by 23 points in a game Utah won 108-99.
“He’s impactful,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “Just his presence in the paint and his defensive rebounding. He doesn’t need to be spectacular (on offense) in any way just to be efficient. That’s what he does on the defensive end. He allows his weight and size to really be impactful. Its’ a huge part of who we are. We need him in the game.”
No doubt, Gobert would like bigger stats than he had Sunday, but he was matched against DeMarcus Cousins for part of the night and he positively affected his team.
“Of course, that’s what I try to do every game, help my team win,” Gobert said. “Sometimes you’re not going to score or it’s going to be different things that are going to happen, just try to help the team win. Tonight I didn't do a lot of things offensively, but I’m glad that we won. That’s a big-time for us.”
The Jazz were forced to play without the Stifle Tower the final 3:17 after he fouled out.
“I’m not going to say I’m happy about it. It is what it is,” Gobert said. “I hope they (referees) do like we do — they watch film and study their mistakes.”
Snyder said Gobert needs to react better when he gets incidental contact.
“He’s got to be smarter,” Snyder said. “There’s some situations where he can stay out of foul trouble.”
TOUGH LOVE: When the Jazz were losing five straight and 10 of 13, the players did something kind of unexpected, according to Derrick Favors.
“It always feels good when you win,” Favors said. “But I think when we went on that losing streak, it brought everybody closer together as a team and we started learning what it takes to win games. We came together as a team. We started having fun and playing as a team out there.”
The fun part resulted in the Jazz winning again, which they’ve done in two straight and three of five, as they try to position themselves for the playoffs.
IMPRESSED: Favors had a terrific outing, making clutch plays late with offensive rebounds, free throws and a steal, and finishing with 28 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
“I think he kind of took the matchup (with DeMarcus Cousins) personally. Favors is one of the top big men in the league. I don’t think he gets enough respect for that,” Jazz point guard Shelvin Mack said. “It was great when you get a challenge and an opportunity against like that. He came out and was ready to compete.”
BIG START: The Jazz got off to a terrific start Sunday, taking a 36-18 lead after the first quarter. Utah fell behind 33-22 and 26-12 in the opening stanza of their two losses to Sacramento this season.
“Yeah, I mean we really came out ready to play. We didn’t give them anything easy,” Snyder said. “Part of that was because we were so efficient offensively. The last couple of times we played these guys we’ve gotten off to a bad start and were down early. It was exactly the opposite tonight.”
JAZZ NOTES: Utah’s 61 first-half points was a high for the season. The Jazz went 12 for 28 from 3-point range, including four treys apiece by Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack and a 2-for-2 night by Chris Johnson. Johnson had only two threes in his previous 11 games. Utah improved to 17-8 when scoring 100 or more points.
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