Grizzlies visit Jazz in crucial Western Conference tilt
(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies had a six-game winning streak snapped on Friday, but they'll try and start a new one Saturday when they visit the Utah Jazz.
The Grizzlies dropped a tough one in Denver to the Nuggets, 87-80. The Nuggets have won 11 straight now and the Grizzlies fell into a tie for third in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Clippers. Memphis and L.A. lead Denver by a half-game.
The Grizzlies led by eight at the start of the fourth quarter. Memphis committed five turnovers in the final frame and only shot 17.6 percent from the field.
"We had a couple of bad turnovers, they had an offensive rebound under the basket to start the (fourth) quarter. When you have a couple of bad plays, it's all about the timing. And the timing wasn't good," Tayshaun Prince said.
Zach Randolph had a huge game with 18 points and 18 rebounds. Marc Gasol had 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three blocks and a steal. Prince and Mike Conley had 11 apiece and Jerryd Bayless added 10 off the bench.
The Grizzlies have still won 14 of their last 16 with the only losses during that stretch to the Nuggets, who have won 11 in a row, and the Miami Heat, who are racing into the history book with 21 consecutive victories. Both losses came on the road.
Utah, meanwhile, has dropped eight of its last 10 games, but is still in the hunt for a postseason spot. The Jazz, who are ninth in the Western Conference standings, suffered their sixth straight road loss with Wednesday's 110-87 blowout against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Jazz are one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final spot in the postseason.
Gordon Hayward had a team-high 20 points for the Jazz, who halted a four-game losing streak after defeating Detroit on Monday. Enes Kanter was the only other Utah player to score in double-digits with 12 points.
Utah was held to only nine points (21-9) in the second quarter. Al Jefferson led Utah's starters with eight points and pulled down seven rebounds.
"We got embarrassed tonight," said Hayward. "We're trying to get in the playoffs, we can't have games like this. We were down by 20-plus points and that's just stupid. We gotta execute our offense better. We got rattled and started second guessing ourselves."
The Jazz were outrebounded, 48-35, and failed to convert on 25 Thunder turnovers. However, they're still in contention to punch a second straight ticket to the playoffs.
Utah, who will also host New York on this quick residency, has won two in a row in Salt Lake City and is 23-8 at home as opposed to a 10-24 road ledger. The Jazz are 0-2 against the Grizzlies this season and the two Western inhabitants will meet again April 17 at FedEx Forum.
Memphis is unbeaten in three straight matchups with Utah, who had won nine straight and 15 of 19 as the host until a 99-86 decision Dec. 15.
03/16 10:16:48 ET