|Date of game: 12/22/2014
Recap: Memphis vs. Utah
Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Alec Burks scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Utah Jazz came away with a 97-91 victory over the suddenly struggling Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Gordon Hayward chipped in 21 points and Derrick Favors had 15 along with seven rebounds to help the Jazz send the Southwest Division-leading Grizzlies to a season-high third straight loss.
"This is huge for us," Jazz forward Rodney Hood said. "For us to come out like this and beat a great Memphis team means a lot. It's been a long road trip, and this can be a confidence booster for us."
Memphis was without top rebounder Zach Randolph for a second consecutive game due to a swollen knee, while defensive stopper Tony Allen missed his fourth in a row with an eye abrasion.
"They're such a big part of our team," said Grizzlies guard Mike Conley. "For them to be missing, we've kind of dialed some stuff back and changed some things up and it's been a little bit of a learning process for different guys."
Conley and Marc Gasol did their best to carry the load for the short-handed Grizzlies, with the former netting 28 points and Gasol tallying 24 along with 12 rebounds. However, Memphis shot just 32 percent for the fourth quarter as the Jazz drew clear down the stretch.
Rudy Gobert pulled down a career-best 16 rebounds in Utah's third win in four games following a 1-12 stretch from Nov. 21-Dec. 16.
A nip-and-tuck game all throughout had the Grizzlies up 77-75 on Gasol's short jumper with 5:31 remaining, but Utah then went on a 12-4 run and never relinquished the lead thereafter.
Burks had the Jazz's first five points of the pivotal surge, including a successful pull-up that placed Utah ahead by an 80-79 count. Favors followed with four straight to extend the margin to five with 3 1/2 minutes to go.
After a Conley layup off a Gasol give got the Grizzlies closer, Trey Burke was fouled while hitting a driving layup and converted the bonus shot for an 87-81 Utah advantage with 1:34 left.
Conley buried a corner 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, but Burks scored on the other end and after Memphis' Courtney Lee misfired from long range, Hayward knocked down two free throws to essentially seal the outcome at 91-84 with 40.3 seconds remaining.
"Defensively, we were not all tied together," Gasol said. "At least not every possession. They got some runs. We knew they were good. We knew they were long and athletic. They did a good job tonight, and that's why they won the game."
The Jazz played from behind for much of the first half but finished the second quarter on a tear, embarking on an 8-0 run capped by Hayward's buzzer-beating turnaround jumper to grab a 44-43 edge at the break.
A 7-0 sequence midway through the third quarter staked Utah to a 63-57 cushion. However, Conley, who poured in 13 points during the frame, and Gasol headed an 11-4 stretch that had Memphis back in front with a minute to go in the stanza.
Memphis was up by as many as eight points in the first half, building an early 18-10 lead primarily behind Gasol's eight points in the opening eight minutes.Game Notes
The Grizzlies have dropped back-to-back games at home after winning 12 of
their first 13 at FedExForum ... Utah had lost five straight at Memphis since
a 98-88 decision on Feb. 12, 2012 ... Enes Kanter finished with 13 points and
nine rebounds for the Jazz, who outrebounded Memphis by a 49-34 margin ...
Utah shot 9-of-19 from 3-point range, compared to a 7-of-23 display for the