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Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert sets new NBA dunk record in regular season

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) dunks the ball against the Brooklyn Nets at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 16, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert set new NBA dunk record in the regular season Monday night in the team’s win over the Phoenix Suns.

He passed the mark Dwight Howard set of 269. The Jazz center ended at 275 by the end of the night.

The Jazz big man holds down the first spot with Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo trailing him at 262 dunks. The next closest is Houston Rockets center Clint Capela who is at 205.

“I think my teammates have done a great job finding me this year compared to last year,” Gobert said Monday morning after Utah’s shootaround. “I have way more lobs, way more high passes this year, and it puts me in a great position to finish. I think it’s a great offensive play. It’s hard, and it puts a lot of pressure on the defense.”

It is that lob pass that the team has placed such an emphasis on. This all came from the vision the coaches had over the offseason.

“We felt that we could get Rudy and Fave (Derrick Favors) more high passes,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “And those guys usually turn those into dunks. Some film study around that and some comps with different guys in the league, and we found that there was room there.”

Snyder had been thinking about implementing the lob pass and a conversation with Utah Jazz legend John Stockton helped solidify it for the current head coach as well.

“I have a great idea,” Stockton said to Snyder. “Throw it where only Rudy can get it.”

For those watching, Jazz forward Derrick Favors is up on the leader board as well. He comes in at 12th in the league at 136.

NOTE: The dunk stat was not kept up until about the year 2000. So it is very possible someone else in NBA history has had more dunks in a season, but Gobert leads that category in the official record books.