First off, a lot of credit goes to the Grizzlies and Jazz organizations for both wearing their throwback uniforms last night. FedExForum was filled with nostalgia as Mike Conley made his second visit to Memphis as a member of an opposing team. Fans were also sent back to the 90’s with the Jazz wearing their purple mountain-themed throwbacks to go along with the Grizzlies Vancouver throwbacks. It was simply flawless execution by both organizations. It is also likely not the last time the Grizzlies match throwbacks with an opposing team, as they are also set to wear their throwbacks against Charlotte, Cleveland and Toronto. Seriously, how can you not love this?
The on court product last night was just as nice as the classic look, with the Grizzlies once again being super competitive with a potential Title contender. The Grizzlies led by 2 after the first quarter, thanks in large part to Brandon Clarke dropping a quick 7 points off the bench.
The Grizzlies extended their lead to double digits in the second quarter, thanks in large part to a great defensive effort limiting the Jazz to just 18 points in the quarter. After going scoreless in the first quarter, Dillon Brooks went off for 7 points in the second quarter to help the Grizzlies take control of the game.
The Jazz appeared to wake up at halftime, going on a 12-0 run to start the second half and cut the Grizzlies lead to a one possession game before eventually taking the lead over the young Grizzlies. After trailing by as much as 6, the Grizzlies were able to cut the deficit to 2 points heading into the final period. Jonas Valanciunas continued his stellar play, racking up 20 points and 15 rebounds through the first 3 quarters.
The Grizzlies and Jazz battled throughout the 4th quarter, with the Jazz controlling a slim lead but unable to put the fiesty Grizz away. A little over mid-way through the quarter with the Grizzlies down 4, Ja Morant hit a big 3 and drew a foul on the shot to set up a 4 point play to tie the game. The call was ultimately ruled a non-shooting foul, then Ja missed both free throws thwarting the Grizzlies chance at getting the momentum needed to make a late game run.
The Grizzlies didn’t give up, but some timely 3-pointers by the Jazz kept the Grizzlies from putting the game in question. When it was all said and done, the Grizzlies lost yet another competitive game against one of the NBA’s best falling to the Jazz 103-94. It’s brutal and stings now, but the lessons learned from these losses will be big for Ja, Jaren and Brandon in a few years.
Jonas Valanciunas led the Grizzlies for the second straight game, scoring 22 points and 17 rebounds. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. cooled off after their recent stretch of play with Ja going for 11 points and 4 assists and JJJ scoring 9 points and 3 rebounds, but also picked up 4 blocks. Jaren arguably had one of his better defensive games of the season last night. The Grizzlies bench was huge last night, with all bench players netting a positive +/- led by Brandon Clarke who 13 points and 5 rebounds.
Bojan Bogdonavic led the Jazz with 33 points and 8 rebounds. Donavan Mitchell chipped in 20 points while Mike Conley’s shooting struggles continued as he went 3-13 from the field en route to just 8 points. Conley helped the Jazz in other areas, though, picking up 7 rebounds and 4 assists. After a putrid first half, the Jazz showed flashes of what made them a pre-season title contender, especially in the 3rd quarter.
The Grizzlies next game will be Sunday afternoon where they will face off against the Timberwolves in Minneapolis.