Ja Morant 25 points vs. Jazz 11.15.19
MEMvUTA: playlist 11.15.19
Postgame Report: Grizzlies earn third-straight victory, top Jazz 107-106
Key Stat of the Night
- Memphis earned its second one-point victory of the season (134-133 on Oct. 27 vs. Brooklyn) and remained undefeated (4-0) this season in games decided by four points or fewer.
Key Run of the Night
- Ja Morant made a go-ahead floater in the lane to give the Grizzlies a 107-105 lead with 1:32 remaining. The teams missed two field goal attempts each in the final 90 seconds before Solomon Hill stole the ball from Donovan Mitchell on Utah’s final possession to preserve a one-point win.
- The Grizzlies faced a nine-point deficit, their largest of the game, with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter after a Joe Ingles three-pointer gave Utah a 24-15 lead. The Grizzlies responded after the timeout by outscoring the Jazz 23-8 over the next 8:00 of play to take a 38-32 lead after an acrobatic layup from Ja Morant. The Grizzlies stretched their lead to as many as 11 on their way to their third-straight victory.
The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Utah Jazz 107-106 inside FedExForum on Friday night to pick up their third consecutive victory.
The Grizzlies fell into an early hole as they trailed the Jazz 24-15 late in the first quarter. However, they responded with their largest run of the night as they tallied 23 of the next 31 points after Ja Morant connected on an acrobatic layup to put the Grizzlies up 38-32 with 6:48 left in the half. Utah regained the lead late in the third quarter with a 19-6 run to give the Jazz a 79-75 advantage with 0:44 remaining in the third period. Both teams exchanged leads in the fourth quarter but Morant connected on a floater with 1:32 remaining in the game (107-105) that would ultimately seal the game for Memphis.
Dillon Brooks scored 10 of his 21 points (5-7 FG, 3-6 3P) during the final period. The Grizzlies now hold a perfect 4-0 record when Brooks scores 20-or-more points. The Grizzlies bench proved to be the difference in the game as the Grizzlies reserves outscored Utah’s bench 32-14 on the night. Kyle Anderson led the Grizzlies second-unit, shooting 6-of-8 from the floor and tallying 13 points and seven rebounds. The Grizzlies also knocked down 10-or-more three-point field goals for the sixyh time this season, improving to 5-1 in those games.
Morant led all Grizzlies in scoring with 25 points, eight assists and four rebounds on the night. Morant has now scored 20-or-more points in five consecutive home games. Jae Crowder finished with a double-double as he added 11 points and 10 rebounds; including a huge three-point field goal with 2:24 remaining to give Memphis a 105-102 lead.
The Grizzlies welcomed back Mike Conley to FedExForum for the first time since joining the Utah Jazz. The Memphis Grizzlies’ all-time leading scorer finished the night with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 29 points and nine rebounds, but the Grizzlies were able to limit him to 1-of-9 from behind the arc as the Jazz dropped to 8-4 on the season.
The Grizzlies are back in action on Sunday as they take on the Denver Nuggets at 5 p.m. CT inside FedExForum. Fans can get their tickets on grizzlies.com/tickets, watch on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
On tonight’s game:Great team victory. Credit the guys. That was a heck of a ballgame, high level basketball. There were a lot of runs back and forth. The crowd was unbelievable and I think the guys really fed off of that, especially at the end of the third quarter, start of the fourth quarter. We started making a run. It was a struggle for us in that third quarter. We had no rhythm, no pace. But I felt like once we got clicking and got a couple of stops and we got out running, Ja (Morant) had a couple of big plays there. It just kind of reignited us. And to just bear down in that fourth quarter and come up with some big stops…. They made some runs. It was just a credit to our guys that get better every single day. We changed up coverages three different times in the fourth quarter. We changed up matchups and then executed some high level plays for our guys. I am really proud of them. Yet again, our bench had like 32 points. The energy that they gave us in the first half was huge for us. I think we were a little stagnant. We kind of fell into the pace that the Jazz wanted to play at. But then that second group got us going and that was huge. They have been great for us the last couple of games. And to be able to have that balance from not just production, but the energy for our starters and our backups, that was huge for us tonight.
On the recent play of the team:I think it’s a change in our mentality. I think our guys are starting to get more confidence in how we want to play. They’ve been a competitive bunch from the start. But they’re starting to realize how you have to compete at a higher level each possession, each quarter. Especially when teams go on runs, that has been a huge learning opportunity for us and I think our guys are embracing that. They’ve had to take a couple of hits to rebound from that. But the trust in their teammates is starting to grow even more, so it is great when you get wins to kind of solidify what they are doing, how they are playing from the start of the game to the end of the game. We are creating our own runs now to counter when teams go on their own runs. It’s just a mentality. I think the guys are starting to see what we are capable of doing and it’s a credit to them to continue to back that up night after night after night. That is the challenge of the NBA. 82 games, can you sustain that game after game after game, quarter after quarter after quarter? Again, all the credit goes to those guys to really buy in and take what we’ve learned in the first couple of games to have this good little run here this last week.
On the last play of the game:Credit to our assistant coaches watching a lot of film. They talked about how they do some decoy screening actions and try to get a shooter to come out to the corner. We were doing a switch defense. (Rudy) Gobert was setting a great screen but I think Dillon (Brooks) and Kyle (Anderson) ended up with a great switch. There was a huge cluster down there so we were switching everything before the ball was inbounded. Then it was just discipline to play without fouling. I’m hopeful that he got all ball, I think he got all ball. But to be able to be disciplined and to execute red. In the Charlotte game we were red and we got lucky, we didn’t switch everything. The guys committed to it tonight, they were communicating early. We come up with a huge stop. It’s a great way to put a stamp on a great win for us.
On Mike Conley coming back:Well there was a lot of love in the building tonight. I’m super happy for Mike Conley and his family. This was special. He has meant so much to the organization, to the city, and to have all the fans come and show that love and support, that’s dear and true and that will last forever. Then to show that same thing for the new generation of the Grizzlies too... It was just a fun night all around. As I said at the beginning, to have the crowd get ignited in moments throughout the game, it is fun. As a coaching staff and as our players, they feed off of that. The players get the crowd going, the crowd gets the players going. But to manage emotions, we just focus on going out there and playing and just trying to compete. I think it is just the nature of the game. We are doing well, we are competing hard and it is great that our fans are backing us and supporting us. To have that feed and that relationship, it’s fun. This is going to be something to be excited about moving forward.
On Ja Morant:It’s humble confidence. He’s super aggressive in all areas of the game. He is super aggressive in how he wants to get better. He has learned so much in 12 games now going back, watching film on how teams are guarding him and how he can set up his teammates and how he can make an impact. From the first day we met him, you saw his humility, but also his confidence that he can be great. But he wants to do it with his team. He wants to make the plays to help his team whether it is him to score, him to play make, trusting the pass. Jae (Crowder) hit a big three in the fourth quarter, he could have easily tried to go one-on-one. We’ve seen that throughout moments. Defensively, he is starting to take huge steps in defending. (Mike) Conley tonight is a tough matchup. Other nights, tough matchups. But that confidence is something that permeates throughout the team and I love having guys that are confident and it’s great to have him be one of our leaders in that front.
On getting the win at home:It felt good. We were on a roll winning two in a row, so we had the energy and we were just ready to get out there and do whatever we needed to get a win on our home court.
On his mindset going into the fourth Quarter:Kill. Simple as that. Just attack downhill and just try to go finish a play.
On whether tonight felt different:I was just having fun. My teammates just allow me, and the coaches allow me, to play freely and just do what I do.
On doing well as a young team in the league:I bet you we surprised a lot of people. We knew all along, once we just locked in and bought into what Coach [Jenkins] was saying and what we had to do. Everybody has that mindset to just go out and compete and play together. So, the last couple of games that’s what we’ve been doing and we came out with some wins.
On dunking on Jaren Jackson Jr.:It wasn’t on purpose. I was just running and I was pointing for the lob and Jae (Crowder) threw it. I was just going to dunk the lob and Jaren jumped too. I mean, somebody had to finish the play and we couldn’t let it be a turnover or something.
On whether he agrees when Coach Jenkins said that he has a humble confidence:I’m humble but confident at the same time. I won’t speak too much on myself, but I do believe in myself. I feel like if you don’t believe in yourself, then who will?
On his favorite moment of the game:When the buzzer sounded and we won. There can’t be nothing better than that.
On whether he aspires to have Grizzlies fans support him like they do Mike Conley:They show that support for me already. I mean, obviously it’s different with him. He’s a legend here, but I appreciate Mike.
On it being a special night for him personally:It was a big night for me, honestly. It’s the first game my daughter’s been to, my dad’s birthday and to top it off with a win, it just felt good. It was special.
On winning three games in a row:It feels great. We played together, we did everything together and that feeling after three in a row, that’s what we needed, that’s what we wanted, and we got it. It’s not just three in a row. We’ve got to keep going more and more.
On Ja Morant:It’s great. He’s just enjoying it out there. He’s balling and it’s really good to see him doing that.
On Morant filling big shoes at point guard:I love Mike (Conley), but Ja is a great guy. He’s already proven that he can be a high-level point guard and he’s just going. He just started with his career, so he’s going to be great.
On what he learned about the Grizzlies from this game:We’ve got to stick together. If you stick together, if you do little things together, if we play together we can win against most of the teams. That’s how simple it is. Doing those little things and trusting each other, not just on offense but on defense too. If you help, you know that somebody behind is going to crack down on your guy, so it’s a great feeling.
- Grizzlies guard Ja Morant finished the night with a team-high 25 points. Morant has now scored 20+ points in six of his first 11 games, and the Grizzlies are 4-2 in those games.
- Ja Morant also has scored 20+ points in five consecutive home games. Morant entered the night averaging 25.8 points per game in the previous four home contests.
- Dillon Brooks tallied 20 points and shot 3-of-6 from three-point range in 31 minutes. Brooks scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and shot 4-of-5 from the field in the final frame. The Grizzlies are now 4-0 on the season when Brooks scores 20-or-more points and 4-1 when he reaches 30 minutes played.
- Kyle Anderson was 6-of-8 from the field on the night as he finished with a season-high tying 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists to lead the Grizzlies’ bench.
- Jae Crowder tallied 11 points and a season-high tying 10 rebounds for his first double-double in a Grizzlies uniform in his first game against his former team.
- Brandon Clarke totaled 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Clarke has now scored double-figures in nine of his first 11 career games.
- Mike Conley registered 15 points in his first career game against the Grizzlies. Conley is the Grizzlies’ all-time leader in points scored, three-pointers made, assists, steals and games played.
- Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with game-high 29 points, nine rebounds and five assists on the night. Mitchell has reached 20+ points in 10 of the Jazz’ first 12 games this season.
- Rudy Gobert added a double-double with 23 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. This marked Gobert’s seventh double-double of the season.
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2019-20 Season Tickets can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Single Game Tickets are available for purchase at the FedExForum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, online at grizzlies.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.