He didn’t score 59 points or make his first appearance after a stint in China, but Rudy Gobert made his mark on NBA history during the Utah Jazz’s 125-92 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday.
Thanks to an alley-oop from Donovan Mitchell, Gobert set the NBA single-season dunk record with his 270th dunk of the year. That mark breaks Dwight Howard’s old record of 269 set in the 2007-08 season, though it’s worth noting that the shot data used for this record only goes back to 2000.
Gobert also posted a season-high 27 points against the Suns, going 9-for-11 from the field.
Per the Atlanta Hawks’ Kevin Chouinard, Gobert finished the night with 275 dunks on the season. With eight more games left to play, Gobert will have plenty of time to not just surpass the record, but shatter it.
That is, unless Giannis Antetokounmpo catches Gobert first. The Greek Freak currently stands at 262 dunks on the season with seven games left for the Milwaukee Bucks, so it would require a truly Herculean effort to chase down Gobert.
Gobert’s record comes amid a career season for the 26-year-old. He is currently averaging a career-high 15.5 points and 12.9 rebounds per game along with 2.2 blocks and 2.1 assists. His 66.3 percent field goal shooting leads the NBA, and is clearly helped by an ungodly amount of efficient dunks.
”It’s a mix of many things, but I think my teammates have done a great job of finding me,” Gobert said Monday about his spike in dunks, per NBA.com. “Compared to last year … I have way more lobs, way more high passes this year, and it puts me in a great position to finish. It’s a great offensive play. It’s hard to guard, it puts a lot of pressure on the defense.”
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