Utah Jazz v Memphis Grizzlies
MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 29: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a play against the Memphis Grizzlies on November 29, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Roundup—Behind Bojan Bogdanovic's 33 points, the Utah Jazz walk out of Memphis with a comeback victory

by Aaron Falk

MEMPHIS — Quin Snyder didn’t say much in the locker room at half time. Didn’t have to. Down 15 on the road, after back-to-back losses, struggling to make a shot, everybody in a Utah Jazz jersey knew what had to happen.

“We just knew we were better than what we were showing,” guard Donovan Mitchell said. “We would be fine.”

So after trudging into the locker room, the Jazz raced back out of it — and back into their winning ways — rallying for a 103-94 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We just came out competitive and threw ourselves into the defense,” Snyder said. “We were really struggling offensively. We just forgot about that and started guarding.”

The Jazz opened up the second half by scoring 12 unanswered points and went on to put together a 24-4 run to reclaim control of the game. Forward Bojan Bogdanovic had the hot hand, scoring 26 of his game-high 33 points in the second half.

“I love the way we came out in the third,” point guard Mike Conley said. “You could tell by the way we picked up the very first possession we were trying to be the aggressor. We didn’t do that in the first half. We just kind of walked into the game and didn’t really come with the same intensity. We saw what we were capable of doing and it became contagious for the whole team.”

Mitchell finished with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists. Rudy Gobert had 13 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.

For Memphis, center Jonas Valanciunas led the way with 22 points and 17 rebounds.

Friday’s Best: Bojan Bogdanovic

Bogdanovic had the hot hand and his teammates knew it, feeding him the ball often in the second half.

“There are times when I’m going to have the hot hand and he’s going to find me,” Mitchell said. “But it gets to a point where he locks in and knocks shots down, it’s easy to just kind of run plays and give him the ball as much as possible.”

Bogdanovic went 9-for-13 from the field (3-of-5 from 3-point) in the second half, good for 26 of his 33 points. Afterward, the forward was appreciative of the trust and extra touches he got Friday.

 “It’s a change and it shows how unselfish we are,” he said. “Especially, Donovan. He’s supposed to take shots in the last couple of minutes, but he told me to take the ball. Take the last shot today. The coaching staff, Mike and Donovan put me in a situation with the ball in my hand to work. It just shows how good they are.”

Bogdanovic has now hit the 30-point mark in three of his last six games. He’s averaging 27 points on 55.6-percent shooting (52.1 from beyond the arc) during that stretch.

“You give it to him when he’s got it going and he’s had it going for the last few weeks,” Conley said. “He’s unbelievable. So we’re going to keep riding him and letting him do his thing until somebody stops him.”

Top Plays

Significant Stats

10

The Jazz were disappointed in their first-half efforts on defense and recommitted themselves to it in the second. Utah’s ball pressure helped force five second-half turnovers, leading to 10 points.

2

Mike Conley’s shot wasn’t falling, so the point guard found other ways to impact the game. Conley finished with 8 points, four assists and seven boards. His teammates pointed to the 6-footer’s two offensive rebounds in the second half as key moments in the victory.

”I think he was a big man tonight,” forward Royce O’Neale said. “This might be the most offensive rebounds he’s had in his career.”

Notable

The Jazz saw some familiar faces in Memphis.

Both Jae Crowder and Grayson Allen (now that he has recovered from an ankle injury) will be key parts of the Grizzlies rotation after coming over in the Jazz’s trade for point guard Mike Conley.

“Tons of competitiveness. We were super excited when we got them this summer,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “They’re guys that compete at the highest level, guys that set the tone defensively for us. Individually, collectively, they just compete. That’s the No. 1 thing we’re trying to build here. To have those guys in the fold, it means a lot.”

Crowder said he stays in regular contact with his former Jazz teammates.

“Friendship is for a lifetime,” he said.

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder had only positive things to say about Allen—praising him for battling through adversity and injuries—when asked about the guard’s rookie season in Utah.

“When the opportunity arose, he was ready to go,” Snyder said. “… He’s got a bright future. He’s got a lot of tools and I’m happy for him that he’s got an opportunity here.”

Up Next

The Jazz have two games left on this five-game road trip. The team heads next to Toronto to take on the defending champion Raptors on Sunday night. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. MT.

Utah's next home game is on Wednesday, December 4 at 7:00pm MT against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers.

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