Jazz Look For Close Out In Game Five Against Grizzlies

Jun 1, 2021, 3:02 PM

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson shoots over the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Image...

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson shoots over the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz will look to close out the Memphis Grizzlies in game five of their opening-round series of the NBA playoffs.

After losing game one, the Jazz have rattled off three straight wins over the plucky eighth seed with a chance to advance to the first round on Wednesday night.

Memphis meanwhile is hoping to earn its second win of the series on Utah’s home floor and stave off elimination.

Jazz Can Close Out Grizzlies At Home

After losing game one, the Jazz have steadily kept the Grizzlies at arm’s length in games 2-4.

In each outing, the Jazz have built double-digit leads, allowed the Grizzlies to trim those leads to single digits in the fourth quarter, only to emerge with a comfortable victory late.

Games three and four have followed nearly identical patterns, with the Jazz owning double-digit entering the final period, watching the Grizzlies cut their deficit to within a single possession, before piecing together a dominant stretch over the games’ final minutes.

In game three, a 14-2 run over the final for minutes of the game propelled the Jazz to a comfortable 121-111 victory. In game four, the Jazz used a 7-0 run beginning at the 4:14 mark to give themselves enough breathing room to escape with a 120-113 win.

It’s been a demoralizing pattern for the young Grizzlies who are playing well beyond their age. Despite impressive runs of their own, the Jazz always seem to answer Memphis’ heavy blows with a made three-point shot or a mini-run of their own.

The Jazz will look to once again keep the Grizzlies at bay in game five.

Grizzlies Trying To Beat Jazz At Their Own Game

Perhaps the most glaring discrepancy entering the series between the Jazz and Grizzlies was the discrepancy in the two teams’ three-point shooting.

The Jazz led the NBA in both threes made (13.7) and attempted (43.0) per game during the regular season. The Grizzlies on the other hand ranked 24th in makes (11.2) and 23rd in attempts (31.4).

Over the first two games of the series, the Grizzlies lived up to their reputation, attempting just 43 threes combined in the first eight games.

Despite splitting the games in Utah, Memphis altered their game plan to attempt more threes and match the Jazz impressive offense.

In games three and four, the Grizzlies have attempted a combined 76 threes, and even recorded one more attempt than the Jazz in game four.

However, while the Jazz shot a staggering 46 percent from three on the road in Memphis over the two-game set, Memphis shot just 30 percent, proving to be the difference in the games

In game four, Memphis outshot the Jazz inside the three-point arc, posted identical rebounding numbers, and had fewer turnovers, but connected on just 10 of their 35 three-point attempts to come up short in their third consecutive outing.

Key Matchup

The key matchup in game four will pit the Jazz role players against the Grizzlies’. Games 1-3 had been dominated by big statistical performances from Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Rudy Gobert, Ja Morant, and Dillon Brooks.

However, the role players made their impact felt in game four.

Jordan Clarkson had his best game of the playoffs for the Jazz scoring 24 points on 8-18 shooting while snaring six rebounds. Royce O’Neale added nine points and nine rebounds to help the Jazz sweep the two-game road set.

The Grizzlies also saw their first big production from their non-stars, getting 21 points from forward Jaren Jackson Jr, and 15 points from second-year guard De’Anthony Melton off the bench.

Outside of game one, the Grizzlies stars haven’t had enough firepower to overwhelm the Jazz more experienced group. If Memphis wants to keep the series alive, they’ll have to find similar production to what they got from their role players in game four.

Jazz And Grizzlies Game Five Broadcast

Game five will tip off Wednesday at 7:30 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on NBATV and AT&T SportsNet.

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Jazz Look For Close Out In Game Five Against Grizzlies