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Rudy Gobert narrowly misses out on elusive Utah Jazz regular season triple-double

Chicago Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen (24) shoots as Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert (27) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 22, 2021, in Chicago.
Paul Beaty, Associated Press

The last time a Utah Jazz player notched a triple-double in the regular season was on February 13, 2008.

Rudy Gobert came incredibly close to breaking that triple-double drought on Monday night when he racked up 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks in a win over the Chicago Bulls.

But, with Gobert coming up just one block shy, Carlos Boozer’s 22-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist game against the Seattle SuperSonics more than 12 years ago still remains the most recent regular season triple-double the Jazz can claim.

Getting a triple-double is already hard, especially for a more defensive focused and traditional type center like Gobert, and racking up anything close to 10 blocks in a game is already impressive, so it gave the moment even more weight once Gobert notched his ninth block with 8:19 left in the fourth quarter.

Fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell said that he isn’t sure why so many players insist on attacking when Gobert is in the way at this point. Don’t they know their chances of scoring are low?

“They kept trying to attack him, I don’t know why,” Mitchell said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t. I would just shoot a pull-up or something. I don’t know why guys continuously do that.”

You can watch all nine of Gobert’s blocks from Monday’s game here.

Gobert subbed out of the game about a minute later and Derrick Favors alerted him to the fact that he was just one block short of having a triple-double.

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said all the coachy things that you would expect after the game about how the Jazz don’t “play for stat lines” and that they were most happy about getting the win. But, whether or not Snyder will admit to it, he did leave Gobert in with the mop-up team until there was just 1:38 left to play in what was, at that point, a 24-point game.

“Once I knew that I had nine I was like, let’s go for it,” Gobert said.

In the end, he wasn’t able to get the final block, but it was still a dominant night from the two-time Defensive Player of the Year. And a career-high nine blocks certainly will help in his case to win a third DPOY trophy this season.