The Utah Jazz, still recovering from a tough Eastern Conference road swing, lost on their home floor to Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Article continues below ...
The NBA schedule can be a cruel mistress. After playing five games in seven nights during an Eastern Conference road swing, the Utah Jazz had a quick turnaround on Monday after just one day of rest. In what Jazz coach Quin Snyder called game extension of road trip, the team played host to the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
With the Jazz needing people to step up as George Hill and Rodney Hood both sat out, Snyder’s squad got a boost from some unlikely sources. Namely Joe Ingles, who hit the 20-point mark for the first time in his NBA career.
Nevertheless, injuries and fatigue won out and Marc Gasol’s Grizzlies captured a 102-96 victory in Salt Lake City.
The first quarter was an exciting one for fans of offensive basketball. Both teams were hitting their shots — the Jazz made 53 percent of their field goal attempts while Memphis hit 60 percent. This was aided in part by a major lack of defense, particularly from the Jazz who gave up 18 points in the paint in the quarter.
Led by Gasol, Memphis finished the period with an eight point lead.
The Jazz had better energy in the second quarter as Shelvin Mack and Trey Lyles led a comeback push. Mack in particular was strong, hitting 3-of-3 shots in quarter, two of them three-pointers, and the Jazz eventually made it a one possession game.
However, the Grizz continued their hot shooting, pushing the lead back up to eight on a late-quarter run.
Utah began the second half with a surge of their own, cutting the defecit with an 11-2 run to open the third quarter. Mack, Ingles and Lyles combined to match Memphis’ energy and the Jazz finally captured their first lead (albeit briefly) in the quarter’s final minute. Heading into the final period, the Grizzlies lead was just three.
It was a back-and-forth battle in the fourth quarter, with the teams exchanging leads. In the end, though, Memphis outscored the Jazz 29-26 to close out the game and get the win.
Tired legs and the bad start defensively were simply too much to overcome for the shorthanded Jazz band.
Ingles’ 20 led Utah. It was probably his finest game in a Jazz uniform as he hit on 7-of-11 from the field, including four three-pointers, grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists. Lyles added 18 points, while Mack finished with 17. It was largely on their efforts that the Jazz were able to keep themselves in the game.
Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors had a particularly rough outing, combining for just 19 points on 6-of-20 shooting.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, were led by Gasol’s 22-point night. Vince Carter was also strong, turning back the clock for 20 points off the bench for Memphis. Mike Conley added 18 points and seven assists.