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Walker Kessler builds blocks against Pistons in the first half

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz rookie center Walker Kessler made his defensive presence known in the first half against the Detroit Pistons by blocking shots.

In the first four minutes of the time that Walker Kessler was down, he blocked three shots to help Jazz protects the paint from the pistons.

Early in the second quarter, Kessler blocked two more shots. During eight minutes on the floor, Kessler had four points, four rebounds and five blocks. He made both of his field goal attempts.

Kessler is currently averaging 1.3 blocks per game this season. Compared to other jazz greats in their rookie season, Rudy Gobert averaged 0.9 blocks per game. Greg Ostertag averaged 1.1 blocks per game while Mark Eaton was a rookie force with 3.4 blocks per contest.

Jazz gets beat up before Thanksgiving

The Jazz were noticeably shorthanded in Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Guard Mike Conley is expected to miss several weeks with a sprained left knee, while Rudy Gay is out with a sprained finger on his left hand.

Coach Will Hardy played against rookie Simone Fontecchio and veteran Nickeil Alexander-Walker in their absence, but the Jazz struggled with both players on the floor against the Clippers.

Bogdanovic takes on the lead role in Pistons

Bogdanovic only spent three seasons with the Jazz but was an integral part of the team’s starting lineup.

During his tenure in Utah, Bogdanovic was the second-most reliable scorer in the Jazz and one of the top scorers in the NBA behind All-Star Donovan Mitchell.

The Croatian star averaged 18.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 204 games with the Jazz and provided a critical ground clearance around Rudy Gobert.

Bogdanovic signed a two-year, nearly $40 million extension with the Pistons late last month after joining the team.

The forward leads the team with 20.6 points per game with an efficient shot of 50 percent from the ground and 40 percent from the three-point line.

Bogdanovic is one of just three Pistons players to appear in all 19 games this season.

The Pistons earn a 110-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

The Utah Jazz vs. Detroit Pistons game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. The game will also stream on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

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