NBA playoffs: Jazz math problem just doesn’t add up for Grizzlies as Utah takes 2-1 series lead

The raucous sound of nearly 10,000 fans welcomed the Memphis Grizzlies back to FedExForum after 10 days. After four years without playoff basketball, it felt right that Game 3 had the season’s largest crowd.

The Grizzlies rode that emotion, overcoming an 11-point third-quarter deficit. Fans waved their Growl Towels to spur them on.

But the Utah Jazz stayed composed. A hostile environment didn’t shake them and they closed out the Grizzlies with their defense and won 121-111 on Saturday to go up 2-1 in their first-round series.

The Grizzlies led 109-107 after a shot by Ja Morant with 4:27 left. It was their last field goal as the Jazz followed with a 14-2 run.

Donovan Mitchell (29 PTS) and Mike Conley (27 PTS, 7 3PM) help the @utahjazz go up 2-1! #NBAPlayoffs#TakeNote

Game 4: Monday at 9:30pm/et on TNT

The theme of Game 3 was the Jazz countering every Grizzlies push. Any time Memphis had a surge, Utah met it with a run of its own.

Donovan Mitchell started it with a layup and free throw. The Jazz's defense did the rest as the Grizzlies got cold at the wrong time and Mitchell finished with 29 points.

The Jazz made a franchise 19 3-pointers in Game 2 and followed suit with 19 more Saturday. Even though Memphis made 13 3-pointers, it wasn't enough.

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: First-round matchups, results, game times, TV info

Ja Morant had 28 points, and Dillon Brooks had 27 points before fouling out. Grayson Allen had 17 points off the bench.

The Grizzlies haven’t stopped the Jazz’s dribble-penetration all series and it’s led to open shooters. This time, Royce O’Neale took advantage with four 3-pointers, and on a night where Mitchell shot 2-for-10 from deep, it didn't matter.

Until the Grizzlies solve their math problem, this series won't add up in their favor. — Evan Barnes

State of the series: Jazz lead 2-1. Game 4 is Monday in Memphis (9:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

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