NBA: Grizzlies hold off Jazz for sixth win in a row
Desmond Bane had 24 points and nine rebounds and Tyus Jones scored 21 as the host Memphis Grizzlies earned their sixth straight victory by defeating the Utah Jazz 123-118 on Sunday night.
Jaren Jackson Jr. also came up big for the Grizzlies, who were without Ja Morant because of a right thigh injury. Jackson scored 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked five shots and had three steals.
Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 21 points and eight rebounds. Kelly Olynyk contributed 19 points and eight boards for the Jazz, who lost for the second night in a row after falling 126-118 in Chicago on Saturday.
Rookie Walker Kessler contributed 10 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks off the bench for Utah, which has now lost seven of eight games.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) January 9, 2023
Utah played without Jordan Clarkson, one of its key players, for the fourth quarter. Clarkson was ejected with a flagrant-two foul in the final seconds of the third quarter when he slapped Bane in the face as the Grizzlies’ guard drove toward the basket.
Clarkson had scored 13 of his 17 points in the third, helping Utah pull within one after trailing by 16 early in the second half.
Dillon Brooks scored 15 for Memphis, including a key 3 after the Grizzlies corralled an offensive rebound to give Memphis a 113-103 lead with six minutes remaining.
Malik Beasley got a steal and a dunk to help Utah get within six with two minutes remaining. The Jazz had a chance to get even closer but Olynyk lost the ball while twisting his ankle en route to the hoop, and Jackson quickly scored on the other end to put the lead back to eight.
It was still a one-point game midway through the second quarter — 42-41 for Memphis after Olynyk’s trey — before the Grizzlies took control. They used a late 12-2 run to go into the locker room ahead 66-52.
After Jackson gave Memphis its biggest lead of 16 at 68-52, Utah used a 20-5 push early in the third quarter to get within one.
Ahead 85-84, Brooks tipped in a shot to ignite an 8-0 run, and the Grizzlies reestablished a double-digit lead when Bane drained a 3.