Zach Randolph leads Grizzlies vs. Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The Memphis Grizzlies were frustrated, having dropped three straight after opening the season with a franchise-best mark.
They also were tired of coming up empty in Salt Lake City, where they hadn’t walked away winners since 2007.
That all changed Saturday night when they overcame a miserable first half to cruise to a 99-86 victory over the Utah Jazz.
“It’s been a long time,” said Zach Randolph, who scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to fuel Memphis. “It’s always hard to win here.”
At halftime the Jazz appeared headed toward another victory in front of their fans.
But the Grizzlies outscored Utah 28-10 in the third quarter to turn a 10-point halftime deficit into a 72-64 lead entering the fourth. The Jazz shot just 15 percent (3 of 20) in the quarter after shooting 56.4 percent at halftime.
Stopping Utah center Al Jefferson was a key.
“They put Zach on me and had a guy sitting in my lap the whole time,” Jefferson said. “It’s kind of difficult for an offensive player to operate. We got to move better and I’ve got to do a better job of passing the ball outside. They’re a good defensive team. They had a good game plan.”
Utah’s 10 points in the third were the fewest since the Jazz scored six in the fourth against the Lakers on Dec. 9, 2009.
After shooting 7 of 12 for 14 points in the first half, Jefferson went 1 of 5 the rest of the way and finished with 21 points – the rest too little too late.
“We went out there and turned it up,” said Randolph, who was 3 of 3 for eight points, with six rebounds in the third quarter.
Marc Gasol led the team with nine points in the third and also grabbed six rebounds in the quarter. He finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Even if Jefferson mistakenly referred to Gasol as Pau, the credit was the same as he called both Randolph and Gasol “beasts.”
“They got some tough plays down low,” said Jazz forward Paul Millsap, who added 12 points and four … [For more on Zach Randolph leads Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz, click here.]