Notebook: Jazz 90, Grizzlies 84

Posted Mar 17, 2013 1:42 AM

Andrew Aragon, for

THE FACTS: The Utah Jazz needed a win -- any win -- in order to stay in contention for the Western Conference playoffs.

The fact that they earned a victory over a team with a winning record for the first time in nearly a month was icing on the cake.

Gordon Hayward, in the starting lineup for the first time since November, had 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists to pace the Jazz to a 90-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. Al Jefferson had 14 points, while Paul Millsap chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds and Mo Williams had 13 points and six assists for Utah.

Jerryd Bayless' 24 points led Memphis, which was playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Zach Randolph had 19 points and nine assists as the Grizzlies suffered their second straight road defeat. They haven't lost three straight road games all season.

QUOTABLE: "We needed to make sure we came in and were the aggressor. They are good defensively themselves and are physical. We wanted to make sure we punched first and I thought we did that tonight."
-- Gordon Hayward

THE STAT: The Grizzlies' energy level seemed to be sapped after halftime and it showed in their shooting and execution in the third quarter. Memphis shot 2-for-16 (12.5 percent) while getting outscored 24-9 in the third quarter. The Grizzlies also dished zero assists and were outrebounded 13-8 in the third. Memphis fought back to make a game of it in the fourth quarter, but its lousy third quarter play was costly.

TURNING POINT: In a game that had several momentum twists and turns -- the Jazz trailed by as many as eight and led by as many as 13 -- Utah finally put the game away in the fourth. The Jazz went on a 12-3 run to go ahead 87-76 with 2:56 remaining. Derrick Favors started the push with a layup following a sweet spin move into traffic on Marc Gasol. Jefferson added a close-range jumper and Hayward capped the spurt by burying a 3-pointer. After the Grizzlies rallied with eight straight points, Hayward put the game away with another 3-pointer to make it 90-84 with 17.3 seconds remaining.

HOT: Millsap overcame a sluggish first half to contribute to Utah's victory. He shot 3-for-4 and had 11 of his points and six of his rebounds in the second half. Favors had an all-around solid game, especially in the second half, to lift the Jazz. He didn't miss a shot after halftime and finished with 10 points and six rebounds after early foul trouble. For the Grizzlies, Bayless caught fire in the fourth quarter. He scored eight straight points to pull Memphis within 87-84. He shot 6-for-9 and scored 16 of his points in the second half. Randolph was feisty and aggressive. He was at his best in the first half, shooting 6-for-7 while collecting five of his rebounds.

NOT: The Jazz started the game in a funk. Utah missed its first five shots, was outrebounded 8-2 and outscored 9-1 in the game's first four minutes. Not to be outdone, the Grizzlies were slightly worse to start the third. They missed their first five shots and committed four turnovers during a 10-1 run for Utah to start the second half. Mike Conley took the most shots for Memphis, 18 of them, and made just six. Tayshaun Prince shot just 3-for-11. For the Jazz, Randy Foye is in a cold spell. He shot 1-for-5 and scored five points in 21 minutes.

QUOTABLE II: "Utah had a big third quarter and then we went into the fourth quarter down 10 and that's tough to recover from. They got to the foul line early and that's hard when you're playing under that much pressure on the road and now it's back to the drawing board."
-- Grizzlies guard Tony Allen

GOOD MOVE: Hayward became a starter for the Jazz again in a move that was probably long overdue. Hayward started the first 10 games of the season, but has since been used as a sixth man and go-to guy for the second unit. Although the Jazz started the game slowly, the move paid dividends. It adjusted coach Tyrone Corbin's rotation, and Hayward had fresher legs than usual in the fourth quarter. His presence gave the Jazz a jolt after halftime, helping them to dominate the third quarter.

BAD MOVE: Tired legs probably played a role, but Memphis' execution suffered at the worst time. Down 87-84 and with the ball, the Grizzlies had a discombobulated possession that ended with Bayless passing the ball -- to no one -- as time ran down on the shot clock. A defensive gaffe then sealed the loss for the Grizzlies as they doubled Williams, got out of position and left Hayward wide open for a game-clinching 3-pointer.

NOTABLE: Gasol lost his shoe after making a basket early in the third quarter, and then used it to commit a foul. He didn't have enough time to put his shoe back on before getting back on defense, so he used it to slap the ball out of Favors' hands near the basket and was whistled for a foul. Memphis reserve guard Tony Wroten did not play because of a migraine headache. The nine points scored by the Grizzlies in the third period tied an opponent low for a quarter for the Jazz this season. Memphis' two made baskets in the third were a season low for a quarter.

UP NEXT: For the Grizzlies, Monday vs. Minnesota, Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City, Friday @ New Orleans. For the Jazz, Monday vs. New York, Wednesday @ Houston, Friday @ San Antonio.