Tonight the Utah Jazz lost 91-105 on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Dropping their 12th game of the season, the Jazz played catch-up the entire night at FedEx Forum. Without Lauri Markkanen again, Utah struggled to generate any offense, with forward John Collins leading the team in scoring with 17 points on 7-14 shooting from the field. A tough night for both Jordan Clarkson and Keyonte George didn’t help either, as the two combined for 20 points on 6-16 shooting and six turnovers.
Tonight marked the first time the Grizzlies have held an opponent to sub-100 points this season, keeping Utah at a score of 91 off the back of an impressive performance by Jaren Jackson Jr. Last year’s DPOY had six blocks and one steal to go along with 20 points and six rebounds. Jackson Jr. received some help from Utah’s guards tonight, as they repeatedly challenged him directly on line-drive attacks to the basket. Frankly, Utah has to be smarter about matchups like these, as their inability to adjust to Jackson Jr.’s paint protection contributed to their stagnant offense tonight.
Off the bench, Collin Sexton and Talen Horton-Tucker hurt the Jazz severely. Neither provided steady decision making from the backcourt, contributing to the Grizzlies’ major second quarter run which blew the lid off the game. Sexton and Horton-Tucker combined for 5-22 shooting from the field and four turnovers. At this point, it may be worth considering moving some of their minutes to rookie Brice Sensabaugh, as his scoring and playmaking level at the G-Leauge level have impressed thus far. At the very least, Sensabaugh could space the floor, something Talen Horton-Tucker has proven incapable of this season.
The single brightspot for Utah tonight was Simone Fontecchio. While the sophomore wing struggled shooting the ball early, he continued his recent stretch of impressive defense. For the majority of the night, Fontecchio guarded Desmond Bane, who has averaged nearly 24.0 points per game this season. Tech’ was able to stick with him around screens and hold his own in isolation, limiting Bane to 17 points on 41% shooting. Fontecchio also chipped in 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists with zero turnovers. Since entering the starting lineup, Simone has provided some much needed energy and effort on the court. Hopefully this type of play continues.
The Jazz will have a quick turnaround, playing against the first-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves on the road tomorrow. Tip-off begins at 6:00.