The Utah Jazz (4-2) bounced back to beat the Denver Nuggets and then dominate against the Memphis Grizzlies after a disappointing 16-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in its first home game of the season earlier this week.
Utah came back strong after a night of little defense in its 108-92 loss to Portland on Wednesday, Nov. 4, and applied what they learned in a come-from-behind 96-84 win at Denver on Thursday, Nov. 5. Utah gained momentum from this win and used it to control the game in its 89-79 win against Memphis on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Forward Gordon Hayward said in a postgame interview following the 96-84 Denver win the team had good looks in the first quarter but was unable to knock them down. The team’s catch-and-release style of ball play returned and proved to be effective as the Jazz shot 43.5 percent.
Forward Derrick Favors did not play much due to the flu, but other players stepped up. The Jazz implemented a different starting lineup coming into the second half and it paid off. Trevor Booker, Trey Burke and Alec Burks gave great offensive efforts, with Booker scoring 13 points and Burke and Burks scoring 12, respectively.
“I thought the guys coming in off the bench did a tremendous job of sparking us,” Hayward said.
Hayward led the Jazz with 20 points against the Nuggets. He also said he was a little frustrated with his shooting as of late, but thought his rhythm would come as the team moved forward. Hayward’s words proved true as he scored 18 points in the Jazz’s next game against the Grizzlies.
The Jazz moved the ball well in its first home win of the season against the Memphis Grizzlies, coming away with an 89-79 victory. Utah led by as many as 21 points and shot 41.9 percent, holding Memphis to just 57 points in three quarters and 33 percent shooting overall.
The Grizzlies led 11-5 at the beginning of the first quarter, but the soon the Jazz took the lead and held onto it for the remainder of the game.
The battle between the second-oldest team and the second-youngest team in the NBA grew intense in the final five minutes of the game as the Grizzlies came back within five points. But the younger Jazz defense stood strong and veteran Favors made a statement to the Grizzlies in his dunk with 2:26 left in the game.
“We gave up a game here, our first home game,” Favors said in a postgame interview. “We knew Memphis was going to be a physical game. We just wanted to come out here to get a win.”
Burke scored a season-high 24 points coming in off the bench and a career-high six 3-pointers. Favors had 12 points and 16 rebounds on the night.
The Jazz will play three games next week as part of a long four-game road trip. They’ll play the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m. MST, the Miami Heat on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 5:30 p.m. MST and the Orlando Magic on Friday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. MST. The games will be televised on Root Sports. They can also be listened to on The Zone Sports Network (97.5 FM & 1280 AM), online with NBA.com Audio League Pass or with the Utah Jazz App.