NBA

NBA Playoffs 2021: Utah Jazz come up clutch down the stretch to take 2-1 lead over Memphis Grizzlies

The Utah Jazz withstood a plucky Memphis Grizzlies run in the fourth quarter to pull away late and secure a 121-111 win in Game 3.

Some excellent execution down the stretch allowed the Jazz to finish the game on a 12-2 run, squashing the hopes of another upset win for Memphis.

After dropping Game 1 at home, Utah have now regained home court advantage, with Memphis now staring down the barrel of a pivotal upcoming home game. In the meantime, let's jump to some of the takeaways from an exciting game at the Grind House.

Utah find the range

One of the best ways to quiet the home crowd in a postseason game is knocking down back breaking triples.

The best 3-point shooting team in the league all season, the Jazz lived up to their reputation in this one, finishing 19-for-43 from long range.

Veteran guard Mike Conley Jr. was the chief destroyer from the outside, scorching the nets to knock down seven of his ten attempts from beyond the arc.

Setting the tone in the first period, Utah were able to withstand an early onslaught by hitting seven triples in the period, with three of those coming from the hands of Royce O'Neal.

Remarkably, the Jazz are now averaging 16.7 3-point makes per game in the series, the exact same mark that led the league during the 2020-21 regular season.

Mitchell continues to deliver

While the Grizzlies put up a major fight, they are still yet to defeat Utah in the series when Donovan Mitchell is in the lineup.

Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring, pouring in 29 points to go along with five assists despite shooting just 9-for-23 from the floor.

Drawing much of the attention of the Grizzlies defence, it's no surprise the team's outside shooting came unglued with Mitchell asking constant questions of the defence with his ability to score on the perimeter and drive inside to collapse the opposition.

Mitchell was frustrated to have missed Game 1 of the series, but he is making up for lost time so far, continuing his history of excellent postseason play.

Morant making history

Absolutely fearless.

There is no other way to describe the Grizzlies second year star, with Ja Morant pouring it on for the third straight game.

Backing up his 47-point explosion in Game 2, Morant was once again dynamic, tallying 28 points and seven assists.

Pouring on 101 total points across his first three postseason games, Morant joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and George Mikan as the only players to top 100 points in their opening three playoff appearances.

Brooks continues to hound Jazz

The coming out party for Dillon Brooks continued in Game 3, with the Canadian guard once again having a big night.

Finishing with 27 points on 11-for-24 shooting, Brooks has become a reliable secondary option in the Memphis offence.

Despite the overall impressive performance, it was a tough ending, with the 25-year-old missing three attempts from range in the final five minutes and then eventually fouling out of the game with 2:11 to play after an ill-advised foul on a Mitchell 3-point attempt.

Like Morant, this postseason is a learning experience for the young Grizzlies roster and there were some valuable lessons learned tonight.

Utah hit the glass

Rudy Gobert's influence on the glass was felt in this one, with the big Frenchman racking up 14 rebounds of which three came on the offensive glass.

Overall, Utah outrebounded Memphis 50-43 and 16-7 on the offensive glass.

What's next?

It's not win-or-go-home stage for Memphis yet, but it certainly feels like it, with the Grizzlies looking to square things up in the series before they head back to Utah.

Game 4 is on Tuesday, June 1. Tip-off is at 7:00 a.m IST.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

San Antonio Spurs - 2005 NBA Champion
OTD: Spurs edge Pistons in Gm. 7, win 3rd title
Yash Matange
#Booker
Despite broken nose, Booker makes 'game-winning' play
Yash Matange
#George
PG, Clippers find themselves in a familiar 2-0 hole
Kane Pitman
#Ayton
Twitter reaction: NBA players stunned by Ayton's jam
Benyam Kidane
#Aytongamewinner
Ayton, Payne help Suns clinch Game 2 thriller
Yash Matange
#Tatum #Pistons
Draft Lottery winners and losers
Benyam Kidane
More News