Mayo scores 20 to lead Grizzlies past Jazz
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – O.J. Mayo scored 17 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to rally the Memphis Grizzlies to a 103-98 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
The Jazz held a 4-point lead early in the final period, but Mayo scored 10-straight points for Memphis to erase the advantage. His 3-pointer with 46 seconds left gave the Grizzlies enough of an advantage to win for the fifth time in six games overall and seventh straight at home.
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 26 points, 18 in the second half, and 12 rebounds, while Mike Conley and Marc Gasol added 17 points apiece. Conley also had six assists.
Al Jefferson and Devin Harris scored 20 points apiece for Utah. Paul Millsap and Gordon Hayward had 17 points each and Derrick Favors added 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Utah lost its second straight and further damaged its playoff chances. The Jazz dropped two games behind Houston and Denver, who are tied for the final two spots.
Memphis remained in fifth place, 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for fourth place and homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers beat Golden State Warriors 112-104 earlier Saturday.
Both teams ended the night shooting about 48 percent, slowing down after halftime. The Jazz finished with 14 turnovers, while Memphis had 12.
The Jazz were shooting 60 percent late in the first, but still managed only a 30-28 lead at the end of the period. Harris already had 10 points, hitting four of his five shots. Memphis was able to keep pace at 50 percent.
Utah led 51-50 lead at the break after a first half that featured 12 ties and seven lead changes.
Harris had 13 points in the first half, while Conley had 11 for Memphis, and Gasol 10 on 5-for-6 shooting.
Memphis led 66-63 near the midway point of the third. However, Utah answered with nine consecutive points for a six-point lead.
When Millsap connected on a 3 as the quarter ended, the Jazz had a 76-70 lead heading into the fourth. The shot gave Millsap nine points in the quarter as the Jazz hit 10 of their 19 shots in the period, maintaining a 53 percent shooting pace.
Mayo got untracked early in the fourth with the 10 straight Memphis points, including back-to-back 3s.
The game stayed close the rest of the way, and Utah pulled to 95-94 with 1:04 left on two free throws from Favors.
But a 3-pointer by Mayo from the right wing with 46 seconds left gave Memphis the buffer necessary.
NOTES: Asked what he thought about talk regarding the Jazz nickname going back to New Orleans since new owner Tom Benson wants a moniker more suited to the Crescent City, Utah coach Tyrone Corbin quickly said with a chuckle: "He can't have it back. ... Utah Jazz. That's what I know. I saw a New Orleans shirt the other night that had 'Jazz' on the bottom. I wanted to put a piece of tape over it and put 'Hornets' on that thing. We can't give up our name." ... Memphis G Tony Allen returned to the lineup after missing five game with a facial laceration suffered April 4 at Dallas. ... Jazz F DeMarre Carroll, drafted by the Grizzlies with the 27th pick in the 2009 draft, started his fourth game. He is starting in place of Josh Howard who is out after having left knee surgery. ... Blake Ahearn, signed to a 10-day contract by the Jazz on April 10, got his first action since being called up from the Reno Bighorns. He played 5 minutes and missed his one shot from 3-point range.