EditorsNote: Tweaked headline; Fixed end 3rd quarter score to 82-77 in 11th graf
Ja Morant made the decisive basket as part of a stellar outing in which he registered 25 points and eight assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 107-106 victory over the visiting Utah Jazz on Friday night.
Solomon Hill stripped Utah’s Donovan Mitchell just before time expired to seal it as Memphis recorded its third straight win.
Mitchell recorded 29 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Jazz, who had a four-game winning streak halted.
Mike Conley experienced a tough return to Memphis despite scoring 15 points. Conley was just 5-of-19 shooting, including 2 of 8 from 3-point range, while playing against his former team of 12 seasons for the first time since an offseason trade.
Morant, now filling the Grizzlies’ point guard position in place of Conley, rolled in a close-range floater to give the Grizzlies a 107-105 lead with 1:32 remaining.
Utah’s Rudy Gobert sank one of two free throws with 53 seconds left and Mitchell later missed the potential go-ahead attempt with 29.3 seconds to play.
Gobert blocked Morant’s shot with 4.7 seconds left, giving the Jazz one final chance but they were unable to get off a shot.
Dillon Brooks scored 20 points and Kyle Anderson had 13, all in the first half, for Memphis. Jae Crowder added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Brandon Clarke and Jonas Valanciunas scored 10 apiece for the Grizzlies, who shot 44.8 percent overall and 10 of 35 from 3-point range.
Gobert scored 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting and contributed 17 rebounds and five blocks for the Jazz. Bojan Bogdanovic tallied 20 points as Utah shot just 40.2 percent and 9 of 34 from behind the arc.
Conley received a rousing ovation when introduced before the game and got another extended hand four minutes into the contest when a tribute video was played inside the arena.
Utah used an 18-6 surge to take a six-point advantage late in the third quarter and settled for an 82-77 edge entering the final quarter.
Morant exploded for a ferocious driving dunk to tie the score at 83 with 10:26 left.
Conley later buried a 3-pointer to give the Jazz a 93-91 lead with 7:04 remaining and the game was back-and-forth the rest of the way.
Anderson scored 13 points and Morant added 12 as the Grizzlies held a 53-48 lead at the break. Conley had four points on 2-of-8 shooting.
—Field Level Media