The Utah Jazz defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 111-107 on Wednesday night, with Mike Conley scoring 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and Jordan Clarkson adding 24 points.
Utah beat Memphis for the third time in a week, this time overcoming 36 points from Grizzlies guard Ja Morant. Bojan Bogdanovic added 23 points for Utah.
Memphis’ Kyle Anderson had 18 points and 11 assists, while Dillon Brooks had 17 points. Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 14 rebounds to round out the scoring.
Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz’s top scorer, was absent due to personal reasons. Mitchell was on the team’s first charter flight out of Salt Lake City, which was forced to return to the airport on Tuesday after colliding with a flock of birds.
“I think our team showed a lot of grit,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “Mike Conley was terrific. Controlling the game, finding people. … In the end, we got a couple of stops when we needed to.”
The Jazz led for the majority of the third quarter, but were unable to extend their lead past ten points. Memphis kept it close enough to take the lead heading into the fourth quarter.
At the midpoint of the fourth quarter, the teams were still tied, but the Jazz gradually increased their lead. Although the Grizzlies came close to overtaking Utah, including 109-107 on Morant’s two free throws with 7.3 seconds remaining, they were unable to do so.
Royce O’Neal’s two free throws with 3.9 seconds remaining created the winning margin.
“Got close, a one-possession game. I loved our execution,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “This is a great growth opportunity for us.”
After Tuesday’s traumatic experience on the first flight out of Salt Lake City, it was just a matter of getting through the game for Utah. The bulk of the postgame conversation centered on the feelings that surrounded the situation that culminated in flight being restored so quickly.
“When they got on the intercom, the pilots were very quiet,” Clarkson said of the announcement that they were returning to the airport. “As a nutshell, you’re asking us what happened.” We’re saying we’ve lost an engine. (That) we were going to be able to land somewhere.
“However, we were all staring out the window, as if to say, ‘Man, just land this.’ Land wherever you want. We don’t care. We’ll check everything else later once we get on the ground. Just please put this plane on the ground.'”