Rudy Gobert doesn’t like to miss games.

The All-Star center was held out of action Saturday with a right knee contusion and was forced to watch as Andre Drummond and the Los Angeles Lakers fought their way to an overtime victory.

“It’s always tough to watch from the sidelines,” Gobert said later.

So when Gobert was cleared to play Monday night, the All-Star center made sure his presence was felt.

In a rematch with the Lakers, Gobert and the Jazz grabbed a 111-97 victory, improving their league-leading record to 43-15.

“Rudy did what he does,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “He protected the rim and did a great job of staying spaced. Our spacing tonight was as good as it’s been in a long time. As a result, you saw the ball move.”

The Jazz shot 57.3% from the floor, knocked down 15 triples, and assisted on 29 of their 43 baskets Monday night at Staples Center.

Jordan Clarkson scored a team-high 22 points off the bench. Joe Ingles had 21 on 8-of-11 shooting. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points. Mike Conley had 14 points and 10 assists.

Gobert, meanwhile, finished the night with 14 points, 10 rebounds, two assists — all while blocking two shots and controlling the game defensively.

The Jazz had a 119.8 defensive rating on Saturday. That number was down to 104.3 on Monday.

On Saturday, Drummond went for 27 points (10-of-15 shooting) and eight rebounds. On Monday, with Gobert and Derrick Favors back in uniform, the Lakers center went 3-for-12 from the floor for 8 points.

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell missed his second game with a sprained right ankle and is expected to be re-evaluated next week. No matter how long Mitchell is out, though, Gobert and the Jazz know what they have to do to stay atop the standings.

“Obviously Donovan is a huge part of what we do, but my role is the same with or without Donovan,” Gobert said. “It’s to be a leader on this team and make sure we do what we’re supposed to do defensively to be a top defense in the league. I try to do that every single night.

“We have a lot of guys that have a lot of experience like Joe and Mike. For us leaders, it’s every night trying to come in and lead this team, and when Donovan is back he’s definitely one of our leaders too. Every night, I have the same focus and try to help this team win.


Monday’s Best

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The Jazz will head to Houston to take on the Rockets. Wednesday’s game starts at 6 p.m.

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