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Jazz stumble into victory over Grizzlies in their first In-Season Tournament game

Utah gave up a 21 point lead after Jaren Jackson Jr.’s ejection, but managed to hang on for the win due to Jordan Clarkson’s clutch performance

In-Season Tournament - Utah Jazz v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies hosted the Utah Jazz for Utah’s first In-Season Tournament game. The shorthanded Grizzlies have been the worst team in the league so far, with only one win coming into tonight. Utah hasn’t been much better, with one of their two wins coming against Memphis.

The Jazz fell behind the Grizzlies early but climbed back into the game with three-point shooting. The new starting lineup featuring Keyonte George and Ochai Agbaji looked better tonight, with Agbaji having his best game of the season so far.

Talen Horton-Tucker and Collin Sexton provided a spark off the bench, and the Jazz extended their lead to 76-63 at the half. The Jazz continued solid play and pushed the lead to 21 points with three minutes left in the third quarter. This stretch included some great passing from Keyonte George, great shooting from Lauri Markkanen, and a monster dunk from John Collins.

Late in the third quarter, Jaren Jackson Jr. made a putback layup and was not given what should have been an obvious foul call. Coach Taylor Jenkins got a technical foul in response, and Jackson got two of them and was ejected from the game.

Rather than crumbling after losing one of their best players while trailing by double-digits, the Grizzlies rallied. They fought and forced turnovers and made a whole lot of shots. The Jazz had a lead of 101-80 with three minutes left in the third quarter. Desmond Bane and the Grizzlies powered back into a 111-111 tie with 6:34 left in the fourth. That’s a 31-10 run.

The Jazz finally got serious and found some effort late in the game. Despite having no rim protector due to Walker Kessler being out with injury, the Jazz began to block shots and get rebounds.

Keyonte George scored all seven of his points in the final 6:16 of the game. Coming off his best game of the season, Jordan Clarkson delivered a clutch performance. He put the team on his back in the last two minutes and sealed the victory for Utah.

Player of the Game

Jordan Clarkson scored 26 points on 16 shots, with four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. He was clutch when the team needed him, not just hitting shots but getting stops. After a poor start to the season, Clarkson has had two great games back-to-back.

Honorable mentions:

  • Lauri Markkanen: 26 points (8-13 FG, 4-9 3P, 6-6 FT), seven rebounds, two steals, two blocks.
  • John Collins: 18 points (5-6 FG, 3-3 3P, 5-7 FT), three rebounds, four blocks.
  • Keyonte George: Seven points, eleven assists, three rebounds, one block.
  • Ochai Agbaji: 15 points (6-8 FG, 3-3 3P), six rebounds, one steal, two blocks.

Next game

The Utah Jazz will have a three-day break, then host the Portland Trail Blazers in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, November 14th at 7:00 PM. That will be another In-Season Tournament group play game.