The Utah Jazz defeated the Memphis Grizzlies Friday Night in what ended up being a nail biter. It’s nice to see the Jazz getting back into a rhythm and rattling off a few wins in a row again though. There will be those who say it is coming against lesser competition and against a great team they would have lost, but the Grizzlies are a good young team and this was no gimme for the Jazz coming in.
The game started off pretty even, but midway through the 1st quarter the Jazz went on an 11-0 run to create some separation. The Grizzlies did a good job of keeping it close for most of the 1st quarter but the Jazz stretched their lead to 38-24 after one. Donovan Mitchell had a stellar first half with 19 points to lead all scorers and the Jazz entered halftime with a 66-50 advantage. The Jazz lost focus a few times throughout the first half but were up by as much as 20 before halftime.
Credit the Grizzlies for clawing their way back into the game in the third. They did make things interesting by staying in striking distance for much of the second half and then finishing with a flurry of threes that gave them a chance to tie the game in the last minute of regulation. The Jazz were too much to overcome though and although the Grizzlies were threatening late in the game it became Donovan Mitchell time in the 4th him by scoring 12 of his game high 35 points. Mitchell matched all the Grizzlies could throw at the Jazz with big shot after big shot. Rudy Gobert also had himself a game with 25 points, shooting 11-14 from the field to go along with his 9 rebounds.
Same teams, same place tomorrow night. It will be tough for the Jazz to win twice in a row against a good Memphis team but let’s hope that they can bring the same intensity and same desire to close out a good week.
This is the best home record the Jazz have had since the 97-98 season when they finished 38-3. With only 11 home games remaining after tonight, if the Jazz can win out at home they will finish 29-2 and actually finish with a 93.54% winning percentage at home vs 92.62% in the 97-98 season. Here’s to hoping that the Jazz can win out and finish with the best home record of any of their 47 seasons in existence.
Mitchell was electric tonight scoring 35 points on 12/23 from the field and 5/7 from 3. He also went 6/6 from the line in one of his best games of the season. The Jazz needed every bit of it to hold off the Grizzlies second half run to get the win.
Mitchell has been fantastic since the all-star break and also looks solid on the defensive end where he’s contesting shots and maneuvering screens good enough that he’s not a liability. He’s also become a solid rebounder. Tonight he grabbed another 5 rebounds which you can expect every night.
If Mitchell can keep up this level of play into the playoffs, anything can happen for this Jazz team