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Ja Morant's career-high 47 points not enough as Jazz take Game Two over Grizzlies

Early foul trouble, Utah's 19 three-pointers sink Memphis, even series 1-1
Credit: AP
Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (10) lays the ball up as Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, right, defends during the first half of Game 2 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Grizzlies looked to use their young energy to wreak havoc in Game Two, but ultimately Utah showed they are the West’s No. 1 seed for a reason, defeating Memphis 141-129, evening the first-round playoff series 1-1. 

The first half proved to be a welcome back for Jazz stand-out Donavan Mitchell shooting 5-of-10 from three, ending the first quarter with 12 in his 2021 playoff debut. 

Foul trouble plagued the Grizz in the first half, with Jonas Valanciunas, Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. each getting called for three fouls before halftime. Both teams shot a combined 43 first half free throws in a tightly called contest. 

The Grizzlies allowing the Jazz more points than any opponent in the first half all season, 74. 

Memphis entered the second half down 20 but found a rhythm, closing lead down to three with 1:07 left in the third after De’Anthony Melton’s lay in, but that’s as close as the Grizzlies would get to tying the game. 

Even with Ja Morant having a career night finishing the game with 47, the Grizzlies allowed the Jazz to pull away in the fourth. The trio of Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley scored a combined 66 points on 25-46 shooting.

The energetic Utah crowd fueled Brooks in his 31-point effort in Game One. Foul trouble highlighted  his game two effort, but Brooks still managed 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting in the loss. 

The Grizzlies failed to repeat their lockdown defensive effort on the perimeter from Game One. The Jazz team shot 48.7% from three, a stark contrast from Sunday's 26% effort.  

The Grizzlies will host the Jazz at home on Saturday, May 29 for game three.