NBA: With Lauri Markkanen sidelined, Grizzlies hold off Jazz
In the final game for Utah and Memphis before the All-Star break, the Grizzlies emerged with a hard-fought 117-111 home win over the Jazz on Wednesday behind Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane.
Jackson finished with 26 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and a career-high five steals as the Grizzlies won for the third time in four games. Bane added 24 points and six rebounds, while Ja Morant tallied 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Memphis held a 113-110 lead with less than a minute to play before the Grizzlies’ Jordan Clarkson missed a floating jump shot. Morant was fouled by Talen Horton-Tucker and hit one of two free throws to put the Grizzlies up by four with 49.1 seconds to go.
Horton-Tucker was fouled on the ensuing possession but made just one of his two free throws and Memphis maintained a 114-111 lead.
A bad pass by Horton-Tucker gave the Grizzlies back the ball with 13.1 seconds to play. Two free throws by Bane put the Grizzlies up 116-111 with 10 seconds to go. Ochai Agbaji missed a 3-point attempt on Utah’s next possession, which ended all hopes of a Jazz comeback.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) February 16, 2023
Utah’s Kelly Olynyk had a double-double (10 points, 11 boards) in the first half, and he wound up with 28 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Clarkson added 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists, while Walker Kessler logged 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Jazz All-Star Lauri Markkanen did not play due to right knee soreness. Agbaji started in his place and finished with 17 points. Horton-Tucker chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists off the Utah bench.
Jazz guard Collin Sexton exited the game in the first quarter due to a hamstring injury and did not return. He played four scoreless minutes as Utah took its fifth loss in seven games.
Brandon Clarke replaced Xavier Tillman in the Memphis starting lineup and ended up with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Dillon Brooks had 11 points for the Grizzlies, and Santi Aldama (10 points) and newly acquired Luke Kennard (nine points) were productive off the bench.
The Grizzlies held a 38-24 lead after one quarter of play.
An 10-0 run to open the second quarter, sparked by 3-pointers from Jackson and John Konchar, put Memphis up 48-24. The Grizzlies took a 63-47 lead into the break behind 10 made 3-pointers and 26 points off turnovers. Jackson had 16 first-half points while Aldama added 10 points.
The Jazz trimmed the deficit to 74-60 with 6:47 to go in the third quarter behind eight points from Olynyk. A floating jumper by Utah’s Juan Tuscano-Anderson at the buzzer pulled Utah within 88-80 after three.
Utah cut Memphis’ lead to 94-91 on a 3-pointer by Horton-Tucker with 8:45 to play in the game. Brooks sank a 3-pointer with 5:25 to go, putting Memphis up 105-96.