Court Vision: Short-handed Grizzlies beat up by Jazz
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Grizzlies fell from the ranks of the Tuesday-unbeatens with a 93-82 loss to the Utah Jazz. The road gets tougher with a Wednesday visit to Houston. Memphis was the only team in the league yet to lose on a Tuesday, until Tuesday.
1. Three of Grizz's top seven out sick or suspended
There were plenty of seats available on the Grizzlies bench. Zach Randolph and Beno Udrih were out sick and Tony Allen was suspended one game for violation of team policy. Without three of the top seven producers, Kosta Koufos (six points on 3-of-10 shooting) got the start for Randolph. Recently-signed JaMychal Green and rookie Jordan Adams played a combined minutes 28 minutes, 41 seconds.
The biggest gap came on the boards, where Randolph's 12 per game was missed. Jazz center Rudy Gobert ate, finishing with a career-high and franchise-record 24 rebounds. He said the plan of attack was the same with or without the missing Grizzlies.
"If they would be there, we would have done the same," Gobert said. "Obviously Tony Allen is a great defender. Zach Randolph is a big guy in the paint, but I think we would have played the same way."
Gobert's back-to-back slams iced it, the second one emphatic in traffic. He scored 15 points. Forwards Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors had 21 each.
Utah out-rebounded Memphis 55-37, by three on the offensive glass. The Jazz's newfound defense held Memphis to 40-percent shooting. On a positive note, Trey Burke never got going. He scored four points, nine below his average.
2. Needs shooting? It may be riding the bench
Defending Hayward can make for a long night, but Jordan Adams just gave Dave Joerger a lot to think about.
The rookie played a season-high 23 minutes and scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He made the only 3-pointer he attempted.
"I was just trying to bring energy, come out and be a spark," Adams said. "I had fresh legs. I just wanted to be all over the place on defense and make the right plays on offense."
Adams didn't record a rebound, but Joerger credited his "bothering the basketball." He had a steal and a blocked shot.
Along with Courtney Lee, the shooting guard duo made 13 of 21 for 31 points.
Joerger gave him a "by-and-large he was pretty good." Adams refused to grade his performance.
"I don't wanna grade it," he said. "We lost."
With performances like that, Adams could go a long way in helping the Grizzlies get back to winning. Memphis is 3-3 since the All-Star break. Depending on who is or isn't back in Houston, Adams' could fetch a more accurate grade against on of the best of the West.
3. Joerger happy with the effort
Memphis hasn't gotten out of the gate quickly in any of its six post-break games. Despite its last four games all being double-digit losses, Joerger said he was encouraged.
"It was a tough night for us," he said. "I thought that was the hardest we've played. It's going to come for us. The ball will start falling for us."
Shots that usually fall didn't fall Tuesday. Starters Jeff Green, Mike Conley and Gasol shot a combined 13 for 39.
They'll have to fall soon. The Grizzlies were coming off a two-day break, but are in a second-straight of three stretches of five games in seven days. Only three of those are home. There are six back-to-backs in March. So is the NBA.
"We catch teams at different points in the season that are struggling or tired or whatnot," Joerger said. "We shouldn't have been tired. A matter of fact, our spirit was good, our chemistry was good, the guys played for each other. They played hard, but just didn't get the result we wanted."
It counts for two against division-opponent Houston Tuesday. Going in, the Rockets trail the Grizzlies by 1.5 games for second place.
6 -- Grizzlies backup point guard Nick Calathes had two steals. He has multiple steals in six straight games.
2015 -- Before the game, Gasol was awarded the 2015 European Player of the Year.