Jefferson leads Jazz to 98-88 win over Grizzlies
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Al Jefferson had 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds, and Gordon Hayward added 23 points as the Utah Jazz snapped a three-game losing streak with a 98-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.
Hayward shot 8 of 12 from the field, part of a 51 percent shooting performance by the Jazz on the night. Paul Millsap finished with 16 for Utah, shooting 7 of 11. Raja Bell had 10 points.
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 22 points, while Mike Conley (six assists) and Marc Gasol scored 17 apiece.
Utah's lead was only 69-66 heading into the final period, but the Jazz were 12 of 19 from the field and caused six Memphis turnovers in the final period to pull away.
Utah was able to pull away in the fourth quarter by not only forcing Memphis into turnovers, but getting to the rim on offense. On three occasions out of the halfcourt set, Derrick Favors was able to score on alley-oop dunks.
That and Hayward's outside shooting helped Utah rebuild its lead to 93-84 with 2:40 left. At that point, Memphis had no answer.
Utah built an early lead and carried a 46-40 advantage into intermission.
Memphis got off to a terrible start, missing its first eight shots, and was still shooting 2 of 11 as Utah built an early double-digit lead, eventually reaching 13 points.
Memphis would score the last eight points of the opening quarter to get back in the game.
But the misfiring continued for Memphis in the half as the Grizzlies shot 35 percent for the first two quarters.
The Jazz seemed to be in much better control, and their 45 percent shooting was accurate compared to Memphis. Part of the shooting performance included Utah's five starters going a combined 17 of 27 in the half.
Starters Hayward, Millsap, Jefferson, Bell and Devin Harris ended the night hitting 33 of their 56 shots.
Hayward and Jefferson had 14 each to lead the Jazz in the first half, while Gasol scored 10 for Memphis before halftime.
Memphis took its first lead on a 3-point play by Conley with about 5 minutes left in the third. But it was Gay who sparked the rally with 10 early points in the period.
As the game got closer, Memphis was having trouble with turnovers. Utah was getting on the glass, and Bell, who was scoreless in the first half, began connecting on his jumper.
Utah scored six unanswered points late in the period and carried a 69-66 lead into the final period.
Notes: Memphis wore gold and green throwback jerseys representing the old Memphis Tams of the American Basketball Association. The color scheme was because the Tams were owned by Charlie Finley of the Oakland A's. Tams stood for Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi — the three states that comprise the area around Memphis. ... Memphis G Tony Allen returned to the starting lineup. Allen missed three games with a sore left hip and knee, and came off the bench when he returned Friday against Indiana. ... The Jazz are 6-0 when they score better than 50 percent and 8-1 when holding opponents to less than 90 points.