Mitchell scores 29 points, Jazz beat Grizzlies for 2-1 lead

Sports

Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors ties the ball up with Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Amis)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and the top-seeded Utah Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies 121-111 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Mike Conley, in Memphis where he started his career, matched his regular-season and playoff career highs with seven 3-pointers and finished with 27 points.

Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 14 rebounds, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson added 15 apiece, and Royce O’Neale had 12.

Game 4 is Monday night in Memphis.

Ja Morant led Memphis with 28 points, and Dillon Brooks had 27 before fouling out. Grayson Allen added 17 off the bench, hitting five 3s. Kyle Anderson had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Brooks scored the first six points of the fourth, starting Memphis on a 13-2 run. Morant gave the eighth-seeded Grizzlies their first lead at 107-105 with two free throws with 5:00 left, and his jumper with 4:28 made it 109-107.

That’s when Mitchell scored on a three-point play to put the Jazz ahead to stay at 110-109. He added a 3-pointer and Utah finished on a 14-2 run.

Memphis increased capacity to 55% inside FedExForum, and the approximately 10,000 fans were very loud for the franchise’s first home playoff game since April 27, 2017, when Conley was the Grizzlies’ point guard for a seventh straight postseason berth.

After three people were banned by the Jazz for racist and sexist comments to Morant’s family during Game 2, the Memphis fans booed every member of the Utah starting lineup except for Conley — playing his first postseason game against the team that drafted him at No. 4 overall in 2007.

Utah scored the first four points and led 34-22 after the first quarter. Every time Memphis tried to eat away at the lead, the Jazz answered with another 3. The Jazz made 11 3s in leading 62-51 at halftime.

Valanciunas, who averaged 17.1 points and 12.5 rebounds during the regular season, didn’t score his first backet until early in the third quarter. He scored the first 10 of the quarter pulling Memphis to 68-61, and the Grizzlies got within four on a pair of free throws by Morant with 4:05 left.

The Jazz answered with eight straight and led 96-85 after the third quarter.

TIP-INS

Jazz: The NBA’s best 3-point shooters in the regular season, making 16.7 a game, had 17 through three quarters and finished with 19. … O’Neal hit 4 of 6 3s by halftime to match his playoff career best set in Game 2 when he went 4 of 7 for the game. He’s 9 of 16 beyond the arc in the series.

Grizzlies: Memphis came in having won eight of its last 10. The Grizzlies are 6-2 over their last eight Game 3s, with this loss joining 2016 when they were swept by San Antonio.

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