Jackson Jr. scores 20 as Grizzlies defeat Jazz for first home win this season
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. had 20 points and six blocks, David Roddy added 19 points and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Utah Jazz 105-91 on Wednesday night for their first home win of the season.
Desmond Bane added 17 points and nine assists for Memphis, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Ziaire Williams finished with 15 points, making 6 of 8 from the field, including all three of his 3-point attempts. Derrick Rose, in his first start of the season, had 14 points and nine assists.
“That felt great,” Roddy said of the first home win. “I think it's something we have been working towards.”
Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins pointed to an all-around performance from his team that included six players in double figures, but also a tough defensive stance.
“It was a great effort by the group,” Jenkins said.
“We continued to push. Continued to fight,” said Jazz reserve guard Collin Sexton, who finished with nine points, while going 3 of 10 from the field. “Shots weren't falling, so it was kind of hard to keep going. When shots aren't falling, sometimes, the defense gets a little lazy.”
Jazz coach Will Hardy said part of the problem was his team's inability to convert shots, especially easier ones at the rim.
“There were for sure five or six 1-footers that we missed,” Hardy said. “Those plays, not only do you miss a shot, but they're deflating. Guys are kind of like: ‘How did I miss that.’ So, I do think it was that we missed some shots that we normally make in the paint.”
Memphis, which was 35-6 at home last season, had lost its first eight home games this year.
The game was delayed about four minutes in the second half when some of the lights went out in the arena. That didn't slow down Memphis, which continued to build its lead to as much as 25.
Both teams faced absences of key players. Lauri Markkanen, Utah's leading scorer at 23.7 points, missed his third game with a left hamstring strain.
Memphis continued to deal with an array of injuries to key players, as well as the 25-game suspension of Ja Morant, last season's leading scorer for the Grizzlies.
Memphis played its best half in a while in the first. The Grizzlies shot 57%, but defensively they were more aggressive with better communication. The combination led to a 60-42 lead at halftime as the Jazz were held to 32% shooting while committing 10 turnovers. Roddy contributed early with 17 points in the half. He said the defense set the tone for the offense.
“I ended up with a lot of shots and it felt great. I was in a good rhythm,” Roddy said.
The Utah turnovers along with the poor shooting, coupled with a 51-39 rebounding advantage for Memphis allowed the Grizzlies to run a more fast-paced offense. Memphis had 23 fastbreak points.
Memphis continued to build the lead in the second half, and even a 10-0 run by Utah in the fourth didn't hinder the Grizzlies.
“It's a step in the right direction,” Bane said.
Jazz: At Minnesota on Thursday.
Grizzlies: At Dallas on Friday.
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