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Grizzlies silence the Jazz 102-96

Memphis needed this one tonight.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Utah Jazz tonight 102-96. The Jazz were without two starters (George Hill and Rodney Hood) so for a team like the Grizzlies who have not won a road game yet this season this was a prime opportunity to pick off a weakened opponent...but Utah’ role players would keep things interesting throughout the night with great performances from Trey Lyles and Joe Ingles.

The first quarter actually started quite nicely for Memphis. While they could have defended better, their offense was clicking nicely and shots were falling. The “big three” of Chandler Parsons, Mike Conley, and Marc Gasol scored 14 of Memphis’ first 16 points and Gasol finished the quarter with nine as the Grizzlies had the lead 33-26 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter started well enough, as Memphis extended their lead to 12 at one point, Memphis used a slightly different lineup tonight (later appearance by Jarell Martin, more Parsons minutes), and it seemed to have paid off overall, but the Jazz fought back and cut the lead to three with 7:24 left in the half on the back of an 11-2 Utah run.

Marc Gasol stopped the bleeding with a made three, and then went on to score seven straight for Memphis as Utah simply could not stop Marc on the offensive end of the floor. The Memphis offense was executing on all cylinders...

Unfortunately, the Grizzlies couldn’t stop the Jazz much either, and the Jazz were still within three with four minutes to go. At this point, the Grizzlies continued to pick up the intensity, led by Marc Gasol (16 first half points) and the ageless ones Vince Carter and Zach Randolph, who combined for 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench as the Grizzlies took a 56-48 lead in to the half.

The second half started with the Jazz storming back with another 11-2 run as the Grizzlies started the quarter 2-10 shooting. Joe Ingles (yes, that Joe Ingles) had fifteen points through the third quarter, exposing several concerns moving forward-

  1. How healthy is Chandler Parsons if he cannot defend Joe Ingles?
  2. How good is Memphis’ defense if they cannot defend Joe Ingles?
  3. How did a giant sloth like Joe Ingles get so good at basketball?

The Grizzlies temporarily lost the lead as they had only scored 13 points through about 10 minutes of play in the third quarter, but Zach Randolph and Deyonta Davis both scored to end the quarter, getting Memphis the lead back at 73-70 heading in to the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was not pretty either offensively for Memphis. Outside of some Mike Conley nifty work, it was a battle of attrition through the end of the game- filled with fouls and turnovers and missed shots. The Grizzlies shooting cooled off considerably, with Marc Gasol only scoring six points in the second half, and their 16 turnovers in the game helped Utah hang around until the end. Trey Lyles (18 points) and Ingles (career-high 20) played remarkable well all night for Utah.

But effort plays like offensive rebounds (14 to 5 Memphis) and a strong last two minutes from Gasol made all the difference on this night, as the Memphis Grizzlies won their first road game of the season 102-96. Gasol had 22 points, Vince Carter had 20 points and 7 rebounds, Mike Conley had 18 points and 7 assists, and Zach Randolph posted another double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Memphis Grizzlies are now back at .500, 5-5 on the season, and will next take on the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night as their road trip carries on.