Vince Carter (ligament tear) is still out, but Jeff Green keeps his spirit alive with a revving tribute after every dunk.
Neither team was engaged defensively in the first quarter, with Utah getting 10 of the first 13 points in the paint. Memphis responded by forcing 7 first-half turnovers and converting them into 15 points, as well as shooting over 50% well into the second quarter. Z-Bo capped the first period with his 3rd three-point make of the season (in 5 tries) - this one from about 60 feet away.
(He practices those, though.)
Kosta Koufos, Nick Calathes, and Jon Leuer held down the ~8 point lead in the second quarter, but Utah continued to gouge Memphis in the paint. Conley and Gasol returned down the stretch of the first half, sparking a 10-0 run that opened up a 15-point lead, but Utah responded with a 9-point run to finish the half to pull within 7 at 58-51.
The Grizz went cold on offense in the third, scoring only 19 in the quarter and, at one point, missing 9 of 10 shots to submarine their shooting percentage into the low 40s. Trey Burke had the hot hand throughout the second half, and Utah's tandem of Kanter and Gobert gave the Grizzlies' front court troubles on defense. Despite almost no help from Gordon Hayward, the Jazz managed to stay within striking distance throughout the fourth, but were unable to get over the hump when it mattered. Marc Gasol put the nail in the coffin with a short-range J and a pair of free throws to make it a 96-83 game with 2:16 remaining. Burke stuck one last three into Memphis' side but then Conley hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to put the polish on the double-digit victory.
Nick Calathes was excellent with 7 points, 6 assists, and a noticable +13 plus/minus rating. The Grizzlies were a solid 6-13 from three, 18-22 from the line, and held themselves to just 9 turnovers.
1. There was much ado on Grizz Twitter about Gordon Hayward's hairstyle and which television period drama it escaped from. (My personal favorite.)
2. Someone might have to check my stats on this one, but I think the Grizz have not lost a first or second quarter during this 8 game win streak - including tonight (though they tied the second).
3. The Grizzlies are now 9 of 27 in Utah all time. What's that about?
4. The Zach Randolph Double-Double Machine is back up and running (18 and 10 tonight). We apologize for the brief interruption in service, though it was for a good cause.