The Pelicans faced a heartbreaking defeat from the Jazz while the battle for Los Angeles went down the wire as the Lakers take the win.
Fans were treated to a very competitive match up between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz and a fierce Los Angeles duel between the Lakers and Clippers.
Each game kicked off with a Black Lives Matter tribute and jersey statements in protest to social injustices.
The Utah Jazz survives despite Zion’s return
To start the first quarter, Rudy Gobert was able to score the first two points of the NBA season restart since the lockdown.
Zion Williamson was able to return to the NBA after his family matters and had an efficient 15 minutes scoring 13 points in 6 out of 8 shooting.
Throughout the three quarters, the New Orleans Pelicans were able to lead. However, the Utah Jazz mounted a comeback with Jordan Clarkson leading the game in scoring finishing off with 23 points.
However, the game-winner was done by Rudy Gobert after being fouled on his dunk attempt shooting clutch free throws.
Gobert sinks the game-winning free throws in the first game of the restart.
Jazz W. pic.twitter.com/2801zREI0o
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 31, 2020
But the New Orleans Pelicans tried to fight back. Brandon Ingram attempted to hit a game-winner on the last seconds of the game, but the shot went in and out as he ended up leading the team with 23 points and 8 rebounds in a disappointing 106-104 loss.
LeBron James with the clutch and the shutdown play
But what fans went crazy over the restart was the long-awaited Lakers and Clippers rivalry dubbed as “The battle for L.A..” The healthy Lakers team face off a Clippers incomplete squad.
Lou Williams was not able to play due to taking leave in the bubble to do personal matters, which resulted in a 10-day quarantine upon his return to Orlando. In addition, Montrezl Harrell was not able to play as well due to family matters.
However, despite their absences, Patrick Beverly and Landry Shamet were able to join the bubble to the team. In addition, Ivica Zubac was cleared to play after reports came in that he has recovered from the coronavirus.
This game was a classic back-to-back battle with a couple of official call overturns.
However, in the last two minutes of the game, Paul George was able to put the Clippers winning hopes up but was overpowered by the better offense of LeBron James, getting a putback layup to his miss to get the Lakers back in the lead.
To put the nail in the coffin, James was able to perform a clutch defensive play to both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the last possession of the Clippers, securing them a 101-103 win.
The end of this Lakers-Clippers game was wild 😱 pic.twitter.com/j4OEGE7vpb
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 31, 2020
Anthony Davis and LeBron James were able to combine 50 points to end the game, with Davis taking most of the load with 34 points. For the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard ended with 24 points while Paul George scored 30 points.
Fans might see another Life In The Bubble episode from JaVale McGee in the coming days celebrating their first win since the shutdown.
Featured image courtesy of NBA/YouTube Screenshot