Gordon Hayward says NO! ✋? https://t.co/hGBrlZKh0t
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) December 14, 2015
Early in the first quarter of the Jazz-Thunder game on Sunday, OKC’s Andre Roberson came up with a steal and a presumably easy breakaway layup, until Utah’s Gordon Hayward came out of nowhere for a big chase-down block at the rim.
Blocks involving Hayward helped bookend the game as he found himself on the receiving end of that brand of defensive victimization during the overtime period. Hayward got loose on a fast break in the extra frame and went up for a huge two-handed jam but was denied at the apex by none other than Air Congo himself, aka the Serge Protector, aka Serge Ibaka.
It was one of six total blocks for the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate, who added seven points, seven rebounds, a steal and an assist on the night and was a plus-16 for the game. Hayward played well for Utah and finished with 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the field in a little over 40 minutes of action. But Ibaka’s rejection was part of a dominant overtime performance from the Thunder, who held the Jazz to just two points after regulation, which is the best mark in franchise history.