Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter bounced back Wednesday night, even though the Utah Jazz squandered a late lead against Memphis.
During the Grizzlies’ 91-87 come-from-behind victory at EnergySolutions Arena, Favors scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Kanter finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
The production was a huge turnaround for the Jazz’s young big men, who were badly outplayed during a 114-94 loss to Detroit on Monday night.
“I played a terrible game,” Favors said, referring to the loss to the Pistons. “I felt like I let my teammates down. ... Tonight, I wanted to come out and be aggressive. I knew we were playing a game team. I just wanted to play better.”
Favors and Kanter played Memphis veterans Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to a standoff, even though the Grizzlies managed to rally from a seven-point deficit in the final four minutes.
“I thought we had that one, man,” Favors said. “We just kind of let it get away from us. Memphis made a few plays on the defensive end and they started hitting some shots on the offensive end.”
Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger praised Favors and Kanter for their effort.
“When you look at [them], they tried to say to Marc and Zach, ‘We’re the new bigs on the block and we’re coming,’” Joerger said. “They were fantastic all game long, especially in the first half. Very active. Very aggressive.”
In the lopsided loss to Detroit just 48 hours earlier, Favors and Kanter scored a combined 14 points on 6-for-17 shooting. Defensively, they failed to control the Pistons’ Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.
Drummond ended up with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Monroe contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds as Detroit snapped a 13-game road losing streak.
“A lot of growth,” said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. “I thought Enes and Derrick came back and fought hard. Although Zach had 10 points in the fourth quarter, I thought they fought him hard for everything he got. He made some tough shots.”
Favors started quickly against Memphis.
He scored 10 points in the first quarter, when the Jazz jumped to a 25-17 lead.
“I just wanted to be aggressive from the jump,” Favors said. “I knew they would be aggressive from the get-go. I knew Zach Randolph would be aggressive from the get-go. So I just wanted to come out and try to get myself going early.”
Favors’ dunk off a pass from Marvin Williams gave Utah an 84-77 lead with 4:22 remaining, but the Jazz failed to convert their next six possessions and the Grizzlies rallied.
“We just had that little lull there in the fourth quarter when we couldn’t get the ball to go in the hole,” Corbin said. “... [But] I’m pleased with the way the guys came back tonight and fought.”