Jazz mascot bulldozes Clippers fan who pushed kid during on-court race

The first-round series between the Clippers and Jazz has been a back-and-forth battle so far, but the Jazz mascot just kicked it up a notch.

Two fans in attendance for Sunday's Game 4 stepped on the Vivint Arena court during a break in the action to race in giant plastic balls. It appeared to be your typical in-game entertainment. Nothing out of the ordinary — until one of the fans employed some dirty tactics.

The adult fan, wearing a Clippers jersey, turned back and pushed the much younger fan, sporting a Jazz jersey. Jazz Bear refused to let this move go unpunished.

Ouch. That's gotta hurt. The Clippers fan didn't look too strong after getting crushed.

This moment provides an important life lesson for all of us: Don't ever screw around with the Jazz Bear.

(Getty Images)

Young Utah Jazz Fan Leaves Gatorade, Note for Sick Gordon Hayward

In light of the illness Gordon Hayward faced during Game 4, a young Utah Jazz fan delivered an encouraging “get well soon” gift to the All-Star.

About midway through Game 4 of the playoff series between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers, a disheartening scene took place. Gordon Hayward, who had been suffering from food poisoning prior to the game and clearly didn’t look like himself at all on the court, exited the game and went home to rest and recover.

The Jazz were clearly struggling without their All-Star and his departure made the chances of winning the game, and as a result the series, seem less than likely.

However, fortunately his teammates – most notably Joe Johnson and Rodney Hood – were able to step up down the stretch and seal the win for the Jazz. This of course softened the blow of losing Hayward for the game and the fact that his name isn’t on the injury report for tonight’s contest is a wonderful sign as well.

And though we may never know for sure how Gordon’s recovery process came about, a photo recently posted to his wife Robyn’s Instagram account provides us with what I consider to be a pretty awesome theory.

For anyone having a hard time reading the note, it reads as follows:
I’m sorry you’re not feeling good, and I hope these gatorades will help. I was going to bring you cookies but I thought you wouldn’t want those because you need to stay in shape. You balled out game 3 and I hope you can do the same in game 5. Best of Luck!! Go Jazz!
-Jackson F.

If that doesn’t make Gordon feel better after being sick, I don’t know what would. Gatorade is always a great remedy for illness and the sincere “get well soon” message in the note is enough to melt anyone’s heart. The kid even had the decency to consider Hayward’s physical well-being and resisted the urge to bring him cookies (he didn’t reach his impressive physique by chowing down on Chips Ahoy). It just doesn’t get better than that.

If Gordon Hayward goes off tonight, I’m giving the full credit to Jackson F. The fact that Hayward isn’t on the injury report and thus is presumed to be playing at least near full strength is a great sign, and that recovery could very well be largely due to the efforts of this stalwart young Jazz fan.

Many of the folks commenting on the posting of this picture have alluded to the fact that simple displays of the love and appreciation fans have for Hayward such as this could go a very long way in convincing him to stay with the Jazz next season. Who knows how much this one instance will figure into Gordon’s final decision, but it certainly can’t hurt.

Utah Jazz Enjoy Very Favorable Injury Report Ahead of Game 5

Neither Gordon Hayward nor Rudy Gobert appear on the Utah Jazz injury report for Game 5 which is excellent news for the team’s chances of winning.

To say that the Utah Jazz were affected by injuries this season would perhaps be the understatement of the century. All season long the Jazz were seemingly always having to tweak and adjust as certain guys would go down. However, as the regular season wound down, the good news was that Utah was looking healthier than it had for most of the regular-season span.

Unfortunately, that lasted for about 11 seconds.

On the first possession of Game 1 of Utah’s first-round bout against the Los Angeles Clippers, Rudy Gobert went down with a hyper-extended knee and bone bruise. It was a terrible sight for Jazz fans as they watched their star center crumble to the floor essentially before the series had even started.

Yet his absence didn’t end up being all that long because in Game 4, Rudy Gobert made his miraculous return. And aside from the fact that his minutes were being clearly monitored, he looked much like his old self as he finished with 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Many Jazz fans had pinned Rudy’s health as the make-or-break condition for the series and his presence most certainly was felt in full on Sunday night.

However, if you thought Utah’s incessant bout with health issues would end once the postseason started or perhaps after Gobert’s unforeseen accident, then you were terribly mistaken. As luck would have it, on the very night that Gobert was able to return to the court, Gordon Hayward who was just one game removed from his career-high 40-point performance, was stricken with food poisoning.

It was reported that he had been receiving IV treatment throughout the afternoon prior to Game 4, but that he had been unable to keep any food down. Although he started the game, he looked absolutely gassed from the get-go and logged just three points in nine minutes played. Not long before halftime, Hayward would leave the game for good.

So fate prevented the Jazz from having a healthy Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward together on the court once again. It’s crazy to think that Utah has somehow found a way to tie the series at two games apiece despite the fact that their two best players haven’t played anywhere close to a single complete game together.

But barring another curse from the Basketball Gods (quick, everyone go find some wood to knock on now!), that trend should finally reverse itself tonight. Neither Gordon Hayward nor Rudy Gobert appear on the injury report at all for Tuesday’s game, leaving Alec Burks, who wasn’t figuring to log any playing time anyway, as the lone player listed as “Out” for the contest.

Assuming everything goes well for the Jazz and that holds true, it would be incredible news. Gordon Hayward struggled somewhat to find his shot in Games 1 and 2, but still finished with 19 and 20 points, respectively. Then in Game 3, he was firing on all cylinders and looked nearly impossible to stop.

If he can replicate even a semblance of that performance and if Rudy Gobert can play a similarly effective game while receiving a bench lift from the likes of Derrick Favors, Joe Johnson and Rodney Hood, the Jazz should be in great shape to steal yet another game in LA and retake the series lead tonight.

Particularly in the wake of the absence of Blake Griffin, Utah has an excellent chance to take advantage of the Clippers in the paint, especially now that Rudy Gobert is back in action.

All season long, Jazz fans have been saying, “Just wait until this team is fully healthy.” It seems like every time we’ve been about to see what that’s actually like, the opportunity has been denied us.

However, although the roster still may not be perfect as Favors looks to stay strong after a season-long knee injury, Gobert fights through his recent hyper-extension and Hayward overcomes his recent ailment, Game 5 may be one of the rare times this season where we actually see all of Utah’s key players healthy and contributing.

Given the importance of the contest due to the fact that Utah can put themselves in the driver’s seat by winning, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

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