Late Mistakes, Bad Whistle Cost Jazz Against Grizzlies

Nov 22, 2021, 10:48 PM | Updated: 10:49 pm
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell stands near the sidelines against the Los Angeles Clippers (Photo ...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell stands near the sidelines against the Los Angeles Clippers (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – A series of late mistakes and an inadvertent whistle cost the Utah Jazz a chance at a win against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis big man Jaren Jackson Jr. won a late jump ball and followed it up with a made three-pointer to give the Grizzlies a 119-118 which proved to be the final score.

Bojan Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 24 points, but it wasn’t enough as they fell for the first time in four games.

Jazz Blow Late Lead

The Jazz built a six point lead with 1:28 left in the fourth quarter on a Bogdanovic three but allowed Memphis to close the game on a 7-0 run to steal the win.

Memphis erased the lead in their final four possessions solely on second-chance opportunities and avoidable Jazz mistakes to get escape with the victory.

Here’s a breakdown of the final four Grizzlies possessions.

With 1:09 left to play, Ja Morant had his shot blocked by Rudy Gobert, but rebounded his own miss, and knocked down two free-throws to trim the Jazz lead to four.

After Bogdanovic and Donovan Mitchell missed consecutive threes, Gobert again blocked a Desmond Bane shot attempt with 38 seconds remaining, but Jackson Jr. recovered the miss and was sent to the free-throw where he trimmed the Jazz to four points.

On the Jazz next possession, Mitchell was stripped by Morant with 17 seconds left to play, who was then fouled by Mike Conley on a layup attempt, where he made the first free-throw but missed the second.

It appeared the Jazz had corralled the rebound on the Morant miss, but the officials blew their whistle on what appeared to be offensive interference on the miss, but upon review, it was ruled to be an inadvertent whistle, leading to jump ball between Gobert and Jackson with 12 seconds remaining.

“It was just a bad call,” Gobert said of the referee’s mistake. “I don’t want to put the game on that but it didn’t help.”

The Grizzlies ultimately won the ensuring tip, and when the Jazz defense collapsed on a driving Morant, he kicked the ball back to an open Jackson who hit a three which proved to be the game-winner.

Mitchell had a chance to give the Jazz the win but missed a tough step-back 19-foot jump shot as the clock expired resulting in the loss.

Different Game, Same Mistakes

The Jazz continue to lose games the same way, namely by giving up offensive rebounds and defending poorly in transition.

Memphis grabbed 16 offensive rebounds which resulted in 22 second-chance points, including seven of the final eight points where the Jazz could have won the game with a defensive rebound, but failed to finish possessions.

“Even if we miss a shot, we’ve got be able to close defensively,” Mitchell said. “We’ve got to be able to get hits, when they continue to get second looks, when we play good defense then we give them another look it’s hard to guard three times in one possession.”

The Grizzlies outscored the Jazz 18-13 in transition, largely thanks to 14 Jazz turnovers.

More damaging than transition points was the scoring discrepancy off giveaways as Memphis poured in 24 points off Jazz mistakes, while the Jazz managed just two.

Off seven Grizzlies giveaways, the Jazz turned the ball back over on three possessions, missed shots on three others, and managed just one made basket as a result of Memphis mistakes.

Mitchell Struggles

While non-Mitchell starters played well for the Jazz, combining to hit 27-42 shots, the All-Star guard shot just 5-20 against Memphis.

Outside of the second quarter when Mitchell scored 12 points on 4-9 shooting, the guard shot just 1-11 in the game, including a scoreless 0-5 performance in the final quarter.

Mitchell added two turnovers in the final frame and was a -8 in the period as the Jazz lead slipped away.

The guard was clearly frustrated when speaking to the media after his performance, including missing the final shot of the game.

“I got a shot that I wanted, I’m going to take it,” Mitchell said. “I turned it over the possession before on a move that I’ve made a thousand times, so that’s where my head is at right now.”

The Jazz now turn their attention to the Oklahoma City Thunder who they’ll face on the road Wednesday night before the Thanksgiving holiday.

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