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Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies Pick & Prediction JAN 28TH 2022

Logo Utah Jazz
Logo Memphis Grizzlies

225o -110
-5.5 -102



Memphis is one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now and Ja Morant is the engine powering the Grizzlies' success.

Morant's MVP level play has helped Memphis win 14 of 17 games ahead of Friday's home matchup with the Utah Jazz. He is averaging 36.8 points and 8.5 assists over his last four games.

In his most recent game on Wednesday, Morant equaled his season high with 41 points and dished out eight assists to lead the Grizzlies to a 118-110 road victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

His ability to take over a game was evident in the fourth quarter when Morant totaled 13 points -- including a pair of huge dunks that gave Memphis a double-digit lead.

He helped the Grizzlies outscore the Spurs 62-50 in the paint.

"I don't care who's down there, I'm not afraid to finish against you," Morant said. "My job is to score the basketball when I'm in the paint. If you're in the way, I'm still trying to finish the play."

Morant has shot 50 percent or better from the field six times in January. His efficiency and production has lit a fire under the Memphis offense, which has been held under 100 points just twice since the start of the month. It has kept the Grizzlies going strong, even while Dillon Brooks has been sidelined with an ankle injury.

Stopping Morant will be a major concern for Utah with both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell sidelined. Mitchell has missed five games with a concussion and Gobert has sat out two straight with a lower calf injury.

The All-Star duo were sidelined during a 105-97 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. The Jazz trailed by 21 points after one quarter when Devin Booker poured out 21 of his game-high 43 points in the first 12 minutes.

Utah rallied and eventually cut the deficit to two points at 96-94 on a dunk from Hassan Whiteside with 2:14 remaining. The rally fell short when the Jazz scored just one basket over the final two minutes.

"We gave a 20-point lead up in the first quarter because we weren't focused on the things we need to focus on to win," Utah coach Quin Snyder said.

Mitchell is expected to return from concussion protocol this weekend. He could play against Memphis on Friday or Minnesota on Saturday. Getting their leading scorer back in action will be a major boost to a floundering Jazz team that is steadily losing ground to other Western Conference contenders.

Utah has lost nine of its last 11 games. The Jazz have sputtered at times on offense with a plethora of turnovers and have struggled to find consistency on defense for long stretches.

Still, Utah players remain optimistic that they are only a few plays away from overcoming the team's current slump.

"We're just trying to find our way regardless of the situation," point guard Mike Conley said. "Regardless of the losses, I think we're heading in the right direction as far as staying connected."

Memphis edged Utah 119-118 in the team's previous meeting this season on Nov. 22. Jaren Jackson, Jr. scored the go-ahead game-winning 3-pointer with 6.7 seconds left.

--Field Level Media

Utah Jazz
Memphis Grizzlies

Utah vs. Memphis Recap MAR 31TH 2021

Mike Conley scored 28 points and dished out 11 assists, and Jonas Valanciunas added 27 points as the host Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Utah Jazz 114-104 on Friday night.

Reserves Ivan Rabb and Delon Wright chipped in 15 and 11 points, respectively, for the Grizzlies.

Memphis, which beat Utah for the third time in four meetings this season, shot 51.1 percent from the field and outscoring the Jazz 60-34 in the paint.

Donovan Mitchell poured in 38 points while shooting 12 of 24 from the field to lead Utah. Joe Ingles added 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Jazz, and Jae Crowder had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Rabb and Wright combined to give Memphis a major offensive spark off the bench in the first half. The duo teamed up for 22 points before halftime, allowing the Grizzlies to stay a step ahead of Utah.

Memphis went up 35-26 in the second quarter after back-to-back baskets from Wright punctuated an 11-3 run. Utah made it a one-possession game late in the quarter, cutting the Grizzlies' lead to 56-53 after back-to-back baskets from Kyle Korver and Ingles.

The Jazz could not overtake Memphis before halftime. Starting with a short jumper form Dorsey, the Grizzlies scored 13 unanswered points over a four-minute stretch spanning the second and third quarters. Conley and Valanciunas each made a pair of baskets, and Valanciunas capped the surge with a pair of free throws to give Memphis a 69-53 lead.

Utah rallied and trimmed the deficit to 81-77 late in the third quarter behind several big baskets from Mitchell and Royce O'Neale. The Jazz clawed within four again in the fourth quarter, cutting the Memphis lead to 95-91 behind a floater and a pair of free throws from Mitchell.

That was as close as Utah would get. Valanciunas made back-to-back shots, and Wright tipped in a basket to put the Grizzlies up 101-91 with 5:15 remaining.

--Field Level Media


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