After being blown away in the first game of their first round, the Utah Jazz are in a very different place than they were a week ago.
On the occasion of Game 2, on May 26, the Jazz needed a win to tie the series to avoid falling 0-2 against a Memphis Grizzlies team that was to beat the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors in the new tournament. play-in. qualify for the playoffs.
By Tuesday, the 5th game, the Jazz will be able to close out the series by beating the Grizzlies on their own court in Salt Lake City.
Utah retired from the disastrous start, a game in which star Donovan Mitchell did not play due to an ankle injury, to win that game a week ago, 141-129, and then won two in Memphis by go up 3- 1 of the best set of seven.
“There’s nothing to be frustrated about when you’re fighting the best team in the NBA,” said Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies coach. “They just have an answer for everything. We’re giving everything we have.”
While 3-1 is really an important advantage, the Jazz know full well that it does not guarantee a series victory. Infamous, Utah squandered a similar lead against the Denver Nuggets within The Bubble last year and was eliminated after losing three in a row.
“We have to go there and take care of the home court in Utah,” Mitchell said. “And I think that’s where our head is.”
“Obviously we remember that feeling we had last season and it’s not something we want to experience again,” added strut Mike Conley. “Hopefully we can focus on business and not let it slip away like we did last year.”
Mitchell has been the biggest difference for the Jazz since that initial loss. The All-Star double has averaged 28 points in three games since returning from injury that left him out for the final month of the season. He scored 30 points with eight assists in Monday night’s 120-113 victory.
In addition, the Jazz have averaged 127.3 points in all three games since Mitchell joined the team after scoring just 109 in the first game.
The depth of Jazz has also been exhibited in this series, including Rudy Gobert’s defensive presence from close range, Conley’s clever playing skills, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson’s offensive drive, Royce’s overall efficiency O’Neale and the myriad of 3- point shooters all over the list.
“They’ve been playing with each other for a long time,” Grizzlies striker Jaren Jackson said. “They have a little more playoff experience than us. So right now they have a good feeling.”
As for Memphis, Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks have played consistently well throughout the series, but the Grizzlies need even bigger games (similar to the 57 points they added to get the first game) or more reliable contributions from the rest of his staff.
Thanks to the Grizzlies, they have recovered from double-digit deficits to make things interesting in the fourth quarter, but have not been able to match Jazz’s competition along the stretch. Utah used a 12-0 run in the final minutes to secure the third game and pushed for another win Monday night with a 10-2 increase in crisis time.
“We’re right there, we’re literally going from end to end against the best team in the NBA,” Jenkins said. “We’re doing a lot of things really well compared to the previous game. We have to find ways to do more.”
–Media at field level