Jazz pull away from Grizzlies late and win, 82-73
Memphis seeking to bounce back from two-game losing streak.
CLAY BAILEY, Associated Press | 12/19/2016, 10:16 a.m.
Late in a physical, defensive showdown, the Utah Jazz discovered their 3-point shooting and broke open a close game.
Gordon Hayward scored 22 points and Rudy Gobert had 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, helping the Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies 82-73 on Sunday night.
The win — Utah's fourth straight and seventh in the last eight — came after Boris Diaw, Hayward and Shelvin Mack connected on a trio of 3-pointers starting just short of the 4-minute mark, turning a 66-all tie into a Jazz victory.
"We had a hard time scoring in that game," Diaw said, adding Jazz coaches emphasized players taking open shots. "We had a hard time scoring anyway, so why not take a chance from the 3-point line?"
Diaw had 11 points and Mack scored 10.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 14 points, while Zach Randolph had 12 points and 11 rebounds. JaMychal Green added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Memphis managed only 30 percent shooting against the aggressive Jazz defense. That included the Grizzlies converting only 2 of 23 shots from outside the arc as Memphis lost its second straight.
"Our (offensive) execution is horrendous right now," Memphis coach David Fizdale said. "We are just not taking pride in executing our offense with purpose."
The game featured two of the league's top defensive teams. Both entered limiting opponents to 42.9 percent shooting. Utah is first in fewest points allowed at 95.4 a game, and Memphis is third at 97.3.
The Grizzlies ended with their lowest-scoring game of the season.
Conley was 3 of 16 for Memphis. Marc Gasol was 4 of 22, managing a mere eight points. He also missed all five shots from outside the arc.
Meanwhile, Utah made 46 percent of its shots. Gobert converted all nine of his field goal attempts, many of them on rolls to the basket resulting in alley-oop dunks.
The game remained close throughout with 14 lead changes and 15 ties.
"It was a physical game, and sometimes those games are hard to shoot," Utah coach Quin Snyder said. "You've just got to keep playing."
JAZZ: Gobert recorded his 18th double-double. ... Hayward has 16 games with at least 20 points. ... Utah tied its season mark for blocks with 11.
Grizzlies: Defeated Utah 102-96 on Nov. 14, the start of a six-game winning streak for Memphis. ... F James Ennis returned to action after missing 14 games with a right calf injury. ... Vince Carter entered in the first quarter, tying Mark Jackson for 20th in career regular season games played with 1,295.
GOBERT THE DEFENDER
Over the previous 10 games, Gobert had held opposing centers to 8.7 points and 5.6 rebounds. Gasol had eight points and seven rebounds in this one.
"He did a great job defensively," Diaw said of Gobert. "He held (Gasol) to the fewest points he's probably scored all season."
It wasn't Gasol's lowest scoring game, but close. Gasol scored six points against Minnesota on Nov. 19.
HILL ON HOLD
Jazz guard George Hill missed his ninth game with a sprained left big toe, and Snyder suggested his return wasn't imminent.
"I guess I'm hopeful," Snyder said. "I don't know exactly where it is, whether it is a week or two weeks. ... I don't think it is day-to-day. It's days-to-days, week-to-week."
Conley continued to struggle in his second game back after missing nine due to a lower back injury. He's 5 of 23 in the two games, including 1 of 12 from outside the arc.
"He's fighting through a lot of pain," Fizdale said. "He won't tell you guys that. ... He broke his back, and he doesn't take pain medicine."
Jazz: Travel to Golden State to face the Warriors on Tuesday night before playing two home games — against Sacramento and Toronto — before Christmas.
Grizzlies: Wrap up a four-game homestand Tuesday night with the Boston Celtics.