LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) _ Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to publicly test positive for the coronavirus, beginning a wave of sports disruptions in March. He had a productive performance in the NBA’s return to action, posting a double-double as the Utah Jazz reopened with a 106-104 triumph over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Gobert sank two free throws with 6.9 seconds left to cap a 14-point, 12-rebound and three-block performance. He helped the Jazz erase a 16-point performance.Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points for Utah, which also received 20 points apiece from Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.
Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson scored 13 points in just over 15 minutes, highlighted by a couple alley-oop dunks. The first player taken in last year’s draft missed nearly two weeks of practice after leaving the team for a family medical matter on July 16.
New Orleans had a chance to avoid the loss until Brandon Ingram’s 3-point attempt rimmed out as time expired, a bitter end to his 23-point night.
The NBA’s marquee matchup of the night had the Lakers coming back from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the Clippers, 103-101. Anthony Davis scored 34 points and Lebron James had the go-ahead basket with 12.8 seconds left. James had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to help the Lakers move 6 1/2 games ahead of the Clippers in the West with seven games remaining.Paul George had 30 points and Kawhi Leonard scored 28 for the Clippers.