After over 4 months passed since the NBA was put on hiatus, basketball action finally returned at Disney World. And the way it returned was a tune that all NBA fans were accustomed to, minus the venue.
The first game of the NBA restart tipped off when the Utah Jazz faced the New Orleans Pelicans. The Jazz were back in action contending for one of the top spots in the Western Conference Playoffs featuring players such as Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, who were back and ready to pick up where they left off after testing positive for COVID-19 in mid-March, which was the cause of the beginning of the NBA hiatus.
For the New Orleans Pelicans, they were ready to continue fighting for a playoff spot as they were 3.5 games behind Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, who currently hold the 8th seed in the playoff race. After Zion Williamson was declared active for the first game of the restart, he saw limited time but a good performance that helped keep the game close between the Pelicans and Jazz. Rudy Gobert saw to it the Jazz would win after hitting two game-winning free throws and Brandon Ingram missed a potential game-winning three-pointer, giving Utah their 42nd win of the season and moving closer to the Denver Nuggets for 3rd place in the Western Conference, while New Orleans loses their 37th game and falls 4 games behind Memphis.
Following the Utah-New Orleans game, the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers restarted their season against each other, as the 2nd game to restart the season saw LeBron James and the Lakers fight against defending NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers. The Lakers held a 2-point lead at halftime, and after a very competitive second half, James hit the go-ahead layup shot with 13 seconds to go and played defense against Leonard, forcing him to give it to Paul George who missed a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, helping the Lakers to their 50th win of the season and holding a 6.5-game lead over the Clippers for the top seed in the Western Conference.
With the first 4 teams finishing their first game of the NBA restart, 12 more teams are to start their first game of the restart on Friday, starting with the Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets, and ending with the Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks.