Despite a dominant first half, which led to a 20-point halftime lead, the Jazz still needed to compete till the final minutes to record their first win of the playoffs and get on the board to level the series.
They overcame a superhuman performance by Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant, who finished with 47 points for the night.
😳 RIM PROTECTOR RUDY GOBERT! 😳 #NBAPlayoffs on TNT pic.twitter.com/PL9K4Wl3p4- NBA (@NBA) May 27, 2021
By defeating the Grizzlies 141-129, Utah puts memories of Game 1 behind them and looks to travel to Memphis to steal back their home-court advantage. Seven of the nine players to check-in for the Jazz finished in double figures. That's the all-around contribution the hosts needed to put away the young Grizzlies.
That said, here are the biggest takeaways from the game.
All-Stars lead Jazz team effort in win
Donovan Mitchell led the way in scoring, Mike Conley Jr. (20 points, 15 assists) and Rudy Gobert (21 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks, three assists) also finished with monster double-doubles in the victory.
Mike Conley had a career high 15 assists tonight.- StatMuse (@statmuse) May 27, 2021
That's the most playoff assists by a Jazz player since Deron Williams in 2009. pic.twitter.com/ouuKqzhjto
After going 12-of-47 on 3-pointers in Game 1, the league's best 3-point shooting team got back on track by knocking down 19 3-pointers on 39 attempts in Game 2. Four players in Conley Jr., Ingles, Mitchell and Royce O'Neale combined for 15 of them.
With Memphis making a ball game of it entering the fourth quarter, it was Conley Jr. and Gobert that helped the Jazz pull away in the final period.
The duo combined on four plays where Conley dished it to Gobert, who was on the roll, for a dunk or layup.
time to bring the energy 🔋#TakeNote pic.twitter.com/GGyliHo6GF- utahjazz (@utahjazz) May 27, 2021
Morant keeps it interesting
Ja Morant's Game 2 performance makes it difficult to believe that he is just 21-years-old. In his first career playoff series, the reigning Rookie of the Year followed up his 26 points in Game 1 with a 47-point outing that put him alongside some elite company.
Only LeBron, Luka, T-Mac and Magic had a 40-point playoff game at age 21 or younger in NBA history.- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 27, 2021
Now Ja's 47-point game tops the list 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kCheU9JUh4
His 47 points are the most ever in a playoff game in Grizzlies franchise history. Meanwhile, his 73 points are the second-most for the first two career playoff games in NBA history.
Most points in first 2 career playoff games in NBA history:- StatMuse (@statmuse) May 27, 2021
75 - George Mikan
73 - Ja Morant
70 - Luka Doncic
69 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pic.twitter.com/js63q2p8wa
He scored 13 points and assisted on another five in the third quarter when the Grizzlies battled back into the game by outscoring the Jazz 43-29 and made it a six-point game heading into the fourth.
Morant was one of five Memphis players (all starters) to finish in double figures as he received help from his backcourt mate in Dillon Brooks, who shot 10-of-14 for his 23 points.
Donovan Mitchell's return
After missing Game 1 and the final 16 games of the regular season, Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell was impressive, to say the least, in his return.
All he did was score but he did so efficiently. Through 26 minutes of play, the 6'1" guard finished with 25 points on 19 field goal attempts and 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
It wasn't just the numbers but how he was getting it. From stepback 3-pointers to tough and-1 finishes on fastbreaks, for the most part, rust didn't seem to be part of Mitchell's play.
spida forever #TakeNote | @spidadmitchell pic.twitter.com/SROGA1dgDN- utahjazz (@utahjazz) May 27, 2021
making moves pic.twitter.com/H8RqPmVeON- utahjazz (@utahjazz) May 27, 2021
He did head back to the locker room for a brief period early in the fourth quarter and then had a nasty spill late but all seems to be ok.
"It's been about a while, it's been about five weeks," Mitchell said postgame, talking about his return. "Body feels good."
Both teams have a couple of days off as the series shift to Memphis with Game 3 tipping off at 7:00 a.m. IST on Sunday, May 30.
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