One day after his defensive prowess helped close out a critical Game 1 win over the Clippers in the second round of the playoffs, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was officially recognized for his importance on that end of the court.
Gobert won the league's Defensive Player of the Year Award on Wednesday for the third time in his career. He was presented the trophy by his teammates, who surprised him by putting it in his locker.
Gobert, 28, played in 71 games this season, averaging 14.3 points, 13.5 rebounds and a career-best 2.7 blocked shots per game. He's averaged at least 2.0 blocks per game each year since 2014-15 season.
With three Defensive Player of the Year Awards to his name, Gobert is now tied with Dwight Howard for the second-most in league history. The only players who have won the award more times are Hall of Fame centers Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace, with four each.
Gobert made a game-saving play in the closing seconds of Tuesday night's Game 1 against the Clippers, blocking a potential game-tying three-point attempt from Marcus Morris.
Gobert has averaged 16.2 points, 12.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game so far during the 2021 postseason.
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