Jazz edge short-handed Grizzlies 124-123
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen and Kelly Olynyk each scored 23 points, including a pair of late 3-pointers, to lift the Utah Jazz to a 124-123 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, who were playing without Ja Morant.
On their final possession, the Jazz were leading 124-123 and nearly lost the ball twice but it bounced to Markkanen near the basket and he missed a contested layup.
The Grizzlies got the rebound and after a timeout, Olynyk knocked the ball of out-of-bounds. On the ensuing play, Bane got a pass but slipped and fell beyond the 3-point line as the clock expired.
Jordan Clarkson scored 21 points and Colin Sexton had 19 points in his first start of the season for Utah (5-2).
Both teams shot better than 50% and the final minutes saw big baskets back and forth, one after another.
After Bane pushed the Memphis lead to 118-113, Markkannen hit a 3, Olynyk made a layup and a 3, and then Beasley sank a three-pointer that brought the entire bench across the court to mob him.
Bane had 32 points and Dillon Brooks had 30 points in his third game of the season to help make up for Morant’s 32.6 scoring average. He missed the game with a non-COVID illness.
Tyus Jones added a season-high 23 points and 10 assists.
The Jazz were also shorthanded as Mike Conley rested, Walker Kessler had an illness, and Simone Fontecchio and Rudy Gay are in health and safety protocols.
The Grizzlies relied on big runs throughout the game, including a 12-2 surge to open the fourth quarter. Memphis applied tight defensive pressure and went hard to the basket, tallying all their points in the paint or from the line.
David Roddy capped a 15-0 spurt with a 3-pointer to give the Grizzlies an 85-79 lead with 4:00 left in the third quarter.
The only other loss so far for Memphis this season was a 137-96 drubbing at Dallas.
In the final 1:31 of the half, Jarred Vanderbilt and Olynyk combined to scored 10 points to cap a 38-point second quarter as the Jazz shot 15 of 21 from the field. Utah led 62-54 at the half.
Most experts predicted the Jazz to be at the bottom of the league but relying on hustle and timely shotmaking, they have surprised some of the league’s top teams and been competitive in all but one.
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