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What I Learned – Rudy Gobert leads the Jazz to victory, four months after shutting down sports

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The first game of the NBA restart could not have had a more fitting ending than Rudy Gobert sinking two free throws to give the Utah Jazz a 106-104 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, just four months after his positive test for COVID-19 essentially shut down the sports world. Normally, game-winning free throws wouldn’t be the most exciting finish to a game but it’s 2020 and there’s nothing normal. Even the lead up to the play felt like it was drafted up by Walt Disney. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Donovan Mitchell moved toward the paint and drew the Pelicans defenders toward him before passing to Gobert, who got hacked before getting to the rim. These are the two guys whose relationship was reportedly fractured after Mitchell also tested positive for the coronavirus.After the game, Gobert, who also scored the first points of the match, simply said, “Life works in mysterious ways.”(This all also probably might not have happened if the Pelicans had not messed up with Zion Williamson’s 15-minute restriction and kept him out of the ending of a close game).The best of SIChris Mannix’s dispatch from inside the NBA bubble in Florida after the first night of games; New Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Marquise Goodwin discusses what went into his decision to sit out the 2020 season after consulting with his family, coaches and teammates; Alex Prewitt examines how skillfully agitators like Brad Marchand prove invaluable in the NHL playoffs; The Crossover staff released its NBA Finals predictions ahead of the restart; Ross Dellenger breaks down the SEC’s conference-only schedule for 2020Around the sports worldPlayers took a knee in protest during the national anthem…LeBron James and the Lakers picked up where they left off with a 103-101 win over the Clippers…Tom Coughlin fractured four ribs, slightly punctured his lung and needed stitches in his head after a bike accident…LeSean McCoy has agreed to a one-year deal to join Tom Brady and the BucsThis is when I knew the NBA was backNike nails another commercialAn underrated perk of the NBA restartDoc Rivers says it bestSkip Bayless needs a new gimmickMore reason why Serena Williams is the GOATA good songEmail dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow him on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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